Here are some tips on the service of wine.

Fill the wine glass only halfway.

If the wine you are serving is not rare, pour the wine into a crystal decanter and place on the table.

Most red wines should be served at “cellar temperature” (slightly cooler than room temperature.)

White wine should be chilled in the refrigerator for at least two hours before the meal. 

Red wine is served in a round-bowled stemmed glass.

White wine is served in a tulip shaped glass that is narrower at the rim than the red wineglass.

Many people want to know the type of wine to have when eating certain foods. Traditionally red wines are served with red meat, poultry, lamb, game, pasta and cheese. Chicken, turkey and other poultry are complemented by either red or white wines. 

Today, drinking wine is not necessarily about what goes best with the meal you are having, but simply about what you like the best.

“What a wonderful and informative week we had.  Dolores’ dining presentation was extremely beneficial.  Even though I have been teaching Children’s etiquette for five years, this was a great refresher course for me.  I also learned things that I did not know concerning tea etiquette and the proper way to use chopsticks. Dolores knows her material and instructs with ease.  Everyone feels very comfortable in her non-threatening manner. I especially appreciated all the time given to us concerning each subject that we covered. Thank you once again for giving us such a quality program. I will be sure to keep you posted on my corporate progress.”

Sheryl Trower, PA

It is always gratifying to see our graduates succeed in their business ventures.  We feel honored that so many have decided to put their trust in The American School of Protocol®.  To hear a graduate express how we have guided them down the path to success is truly inspiring.

Donna Knorr a graduate from the October 2010 Children’s Etiquette Certification Program has been working hard to share her knowledge of etiquette and protocol. Donna recently opened The Piedmont School of Etiquette in Concord, North Carolina. One-hour workshops and week-long classes have been keeping her busy.  Donna is teaching an etiquette class at a Christian School and also conducting private lessons.  Local NC newspapers have featured Donna and The Piedmont School of Etiquette in articles. She believes that there is a real need for good manners in our country today.

At a young age, Donna competed in beauty pageants and modeling.  This is where she learned the importance of etiquette. Donna began her career by teaching diction at a modeling agency and public speaking for Cabarrus College of Health and Sciences.  Opening her own etiquette school was always on her mind, she was just waiting for the right time.  Good luck Donna! Congratulations on following your dream.

The etiquette of modern tipping has become so vague that consumers are confused about what is expected and why.  The art of tipping comes without instructions, so some people just do their own thing and hope that their action will get them the kind of service they value.

Tipping goes back to the 18th century where in English Inns and Coffee Houses it was customary for the patron to drop a coin into a box placed on the wall for benefit of the servers.  On the box was a little sign which said TO INSURE PROMPTNESS.  Later, just the initials of the phrase were put on the box.

Since the late 1970s for casual dining, the going rate has been 15%.  That is still the norm.  In better restaurants, 20% or more is given, depending on service.  Tips are a way of expressing satisfaction.  Tipping is not a duty or an essential thing.  It is an act of kindness for good service. 

If you tip less that 15%, it is because you felt the service was well below expectations.  If you are unhappy with the service, leave a 10% gratuity and, if the owner or maître d’ is available, discuss your issues with them if your waiter did not acknowledge your complaints.

Most people are left wondering what should I tip? Without a calculator or tip table, you have two choices.  15% of the bill before taxes is standard.  Take 10% of the total, divide that number by two to get 5%, add those two figures and you will have your tip amount. (Ex: Your bill is $44.24, 10% is $4.42 and half of that is $2.21, add those two numbers and you get $6.63, which is 15%) If you include tax and tip on the total, your tip will come to approximately 18%. 

20% is customary in fine restaurants or for parties of six or more people.  Upscale restaurant policies usually require all tips to be pooled at the end of the evening and shared between the wait staff, the waiter, the assistant waiter, maître d’, etc. 

There are no “rights and wrongs” when it comes to tipping.  Behaving politely should always be our way of doing business.  Tipping is a voluntary practice to reward a job well done.  No one has a license to be rude.  It has nothing to do with manners.

 Our one day Business Etiquette Seminar, “Power, Presence & Style”, held on Tuesday, September 20, was a huge success. The fifteen participants in the class were from finance, legal, accounting, medical, sales, nutrition, and education. The sharing that was done by different industries is always electrifying. Participants attended from California, Kansas, Washington D.C., Virginia, Maryland and Georgia. Topics covered during the day began with the Power of the First Seven Seconds and continued with Correspondence, Networking, Dining, and Professional Dress for Men and Women.

At the end of the day, participant feedback always keeps our company on track. The following are a few of their comments:

“There were so many small details that I picked up today, which will help me in my professional and networking settings.”  
“Very, very helpful. It covered all areas that I was uncomfortable with in my professional field. Self-Presentation and Networking Skills will certainly make a positive difference. I liked the information on how to start conversations at cocktail parties and what to do at the bar and food table.”
“I will never forget the dining skills I learned today. Mom failed to tell me a few very important things.”
“Having just graduated from college four months ago, I think every business professional should have this etiquette class.”
“I learned something new in every section that was presented during the day. The rules for the cocktail reception are something I will use until the day I die.”
“This course was invaluable! Not only for use in corporate America, but as I travel to other countries and large cities in the USA.”
“I don’t know how I got this far in business without knowing all of the wealth of material that you presented today. All aspects of the course were extremely informative.”  

Thank you to all of our valued clients. We deeply appreciate your support.

For our professional dress training, our classroom is in the beautiful Neiman Marcus Atlanta store. Thomas is pulling his business casual selecton that he will present during the afternoon training session.

“Even though I have shopped in Neiman Marcus for many years, my time on tuesday in the store was invaluable. I learned so much about men and women's styles, color, fashion and how to dress. What a power house of information!”  

   -Thomas White, Maryland



By Kathie Martin

Kathie Martin is a graduate of ASP, president of the Etiquette School of Birmingham and an exceptional writer.  Martin’s article was featured in the August 12, 2011 Birmingham Business Journal.  This article has great advice and we wanted to pass it on to our readers. Hope you enjoy!

“Why? Why me?"

“These are perfectly natural questions to ask when you get the word that your job is being eliminated. If you’re lucky, you’ll be given notice two weeks or more in advance and an opportunity to job hunt while still at your desk. Too often, employers just give you a few minutes to clear out your things before you’re unceremoniously ushered out the door. You didn’t want it to end this way and, more often than not, your employer didn’t either. Yet in a down economy or an unplanned company crisis, executives are often forced to make difficult decisions – decisions that can have a serious effect on you and your family."

"In an all-out fight for your job, you could publicly question your employer’s actions, threaten to sue and begin posting questionable content on your Facebook page or Twitter account. Or you could break into uncontrollable sobbing and throw yourself on the boss’ mercy. If you want to land on your feet, however, you’ll do none of these things.”

“Because how you react to a layoff is critical to your future employability, you must treat a layoff professionally – the way you treat any other business decision with which you may not agree. Even if you had no inkling that a layoff was under consideration, it’s probably kept a few people up nights as the details were worked out. Just telling you that your job is ending is stressful and guilt-laden on its own. Show the company just what a class act you are by treating your last hours or days on the job with a positive attitude. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.”

 “If coworkers suddenly treat you like Typhoid Mary, it’s not because they’re afraid they’ll be laid off if they associate with you. Understand that they feel uncomfortable about keeping their job while you lose yours and don’t know what to say. If they don’t come to you, go to them – not to talk about your leaving, but about anything else. They can help you locate other job opportunities, 'recommend' you on Facebook and lend a caring ear when you need it.”

“To avoid burning any bridges behind you, be cooperative with your boss and other members of management. Ask for a reference letter and be sure to fill him or her in on unfinished projects. In other words, make this easy for your boss. When things turn around, the company just might hire you back if you haven’t ruined your reputation with management. If you find yourself without any substantive work to do, avoid the temptation of quitting, which will negate your possibility of receiving unemployment compensation as you search for a new position. Instead, enjoy the break. Use the extra time to sniff out new opportunities and send out resumes."

"As you interview for new positions, be careful not to trash your former employer, even if tempted. Companies want to hire people whom they can trust to be loyal in difficult situations.”

 “If you are laid off, know that help is available. A career counselor can help you focus on finding a job, helping you think things through, target your search and effectively market yourself.  Given the right circumstances, job availability and acting with exceptional class in difficult situations, the reward can be a new job and a stellar reputation as a true professional.”

What reaction would you have if a three year old came up to you and extended his hand and introduced himself?  Probably shock!  Just three years old, you say as you heap praise on him and his wonderful social skills.  He also can introduce his playmate to you and do that perfectly, too.

The intellectual stimulation a child receives before they are three years old plays a pivotal role in their development. Having proper education and encouragement during these early years, shapes their path for the future. Our research shows that ages zero to three have the greatest learning curve. During ages four, five and six is the second greatest learning curve. Children do not grasp concepts as quickly after six years old as they did prior to that time. Strong programs like Manners for 3, 4 & 5 Year Olds provides benefits for a child during these rapid years of development. Our character education program addresses the unique needs of younger children and can make a positive difference in a child’s life. Economists state that every dollar devoted to a child’s early education provides long-term gains.

If you are interested in becoming Manners for 3, 4, & 5 Year Olds certified teacher or if you are a part of a daycare facility or pre K teacher, this program has been taught successfully to children through nine years old. Please contact The American School of Protocol’s® office at 404-252-2245 or via email at for further information.



The ten year anniversary of September 11, 2001 marks a day of remembrance, appreciation and hopefulness. We will never forget the people who sacrificed their lives for our freedom and we will always be thankful for their courage and strength.

On September 11, 2001, America experienced a tragedy unlike no other our country has ever witnessed. This horrific event changed the way Americans lived their lives.  Terror was brought to our doorstep,  places and things that we were accustomed to became symbols of fear. The safe net that we thought was there to protect us had failed, and as a country we were in a state of vulnerability. This unforgettable day severely weakened America, but as a whole, the people allowed the events of 9/11 to bring them together. America is and will continue to be a resilient country.


There is a definite love for soda in America. It is everywhere you go. Soda companies have built themselves a stronghold in American life. They are trying to keep up with consumers wanting to be healthier and by creating diet sodas or sodas with zero calories they have found a way to sell more products and reach out to this growing group.

We have all heard that if you must drink a soda at least drink a diet soda. And with the new trend of zero calorie drinks having a soda doesn’t seem to be so bad. Or is it? This debate is an endless tug of war.

The main problem with diet soda is the artificial sweeteners that are being used. Artificial sweeteners are being disguised as a good choice to consumers because they have zero calories. The negative health effects that can result from these artificial sweeteners include decreased nutrient absorption, higher risk for osteoporosis, heart disease and diabetes.

I know that sodas are not a good choice and I hope you do too, but sometimes we just feel like having one. I am not asking everyone to stop drinking sodas, but I encourage you to ask yourself these questions next time you think about having a diet soda: What is this drink really doing for me? Do I honestly need it? What will happen if I go without it?

Hopefully as consumers we can learn to cut back on bad choices and learn to love the healthier options!