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Should I refill guests' wineglasses at the halfway mark?

When I host dinner parties, how frequently should I refill my guests' wineglasses? Is it a rule of thumb to top up whenever they hit the halfway mark?

At the halfway mark, hey? Do you ever notice your guests slurring their words? Removing underclothing and waving it around their heads? How about singing Neil Diamond hits while doing the worm on the dining-room floor?

Contemporary red-wine glasses often hold 12 ounces or more (that's half a bottle!) at half full and even half of a smaller white-wine glass can amount to an enormous pour. Always fill wine glasses to one third or their widest point (whichever is less) and then refill - after confirming that your guests actually want more - when their wine drops to half of that. It's your responsibility to ensure that your guests never go thirsty unless they intend to; it's also your job to ensure that they don't get too drunk. After that, if they start doing the naked worm thing, it's 100-per-cent on them.

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Chris Nuttall-Smith is a food writer and restaurant columnist. Have an entertaining dilemma? E-mail

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