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Work and Wine… Can You Pair? Not Anymore…

Work and Wine… Can You Pair? Not Anymore…

Back in the day, when Madison Ave and Wall Street types indulged in the ‘3-martini lunch’ (among other alcoholic beverages), was a time when this sort of casual workday drinking was the norm. Time warping back to The Godfather Movie, Wall Street (movie + real life) and the more recent flashback of the hit TV series Mad Men, are all examples that wine and/or cocktails were casually enjoyed during working lunches without a blink.  Fast forward to 2019, and it seems like these boozy lunch vibes have completely disappeared over time. It seems as though it’s now awkward or unacceptable to order even a single glass of wine at lunch during the work week and is only saved for extremely special occasions. Now before you think I’m a lush, (which, I’m not) I’m just putting it out there to understand what in our culture has changed? Why now are workers hesitant to order a single glass of wine to pair with their lunch? Why is it so frowned upon to have a glass of Fume Blanc or Pinot Noir with clients at noon? Is it an etiquette thing, functionality, act of fear or is it simply that over time this concept has been placed in a time capsule where we will be forever indebted to movies and our father’s stories. It has me thinking, what would happen if I was out to lunch with colleagues and ordered a glass of wine…? (nail biter)

“Why now are workers hesitant to order a single glass of wine to pair with their lunch?”

First, let me state that I am not condoning the literal sense of a 3-martini-lunch, but let me voice my opinion on why it may have worked….. You know that feeling, when you go out to lunch with friends and have a glass of wine? I don’t know about you, but for me all worries go out the door. I think this is the same with the “3-Martini-lunch” concept. By ordering that one glass of wine (or in this case martini), I feel it made the conversation seem, safe and casual while also allowing it to potentially go somewhere deeper, creating a more personal connection. No conference rooms, no BS, just good food and good wine.  Now I’m not saying to go out and get bombed (per the above, absolutely not), but I do think there is something to be said when you are able to enjoy a nice glass of wine w/ food with a client, partner or colleague over a lunch meeting. It creates a bit of trust that you may never get in the board room. And when there is trust – the creative juices start flowing!

So what do you think?

“Yes, why not. As long as you’re not getting drunk” @shelly_presser

“ABSOLUTELY” @Syrah_queen

“In Spain wine during business lunch (in the restaurant) is almost like a ‘must have’” @lemichebarcelona

“Not sure about the US, but in Europe 100% YES!” @forwinesake

“When I was in Europe everyone drank wine at lunch. Wish the view was the same in the US"!” @winonoire

“Rarely. If I have anything alcoholic at lunch it would be a beer. However, I have co-workers that order wine at lunch maybe 1-3 times a month when we go to a good restaurant. For example, recently lunch at Maialino called for wine.” 

It’s just not appropriate nor productive.

From the perspective of someone who grew up in ‘3-martini lunch’ period and is still working…”Times have changed so much in my industry. I think it really all started when DWI went into effect. But in the old days I remember taking out one particular customer and he would have 3 Martini’s before lunch, 2 glasses of wine during lunch and an after ‘lunch’ drink. Then go back to his office and write a $30,000 order. This was typical in the old days.” – Wow. That is just madness; I would be done for the week!

It also seems that happy hours/dinners/after work drink meetings are the new norm vs. drinks with lunch meetings…

“Sober lunches lead to a more powerful “let’s get after it” happy hour.”

So in closing, when is it appropriate to drink at lunch meetings? Seems like it’s still a taboo topic.

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