The wine lists, the wine chat, the waiter showing you the label, the sound of the cork popping out of the bottle, the swirling, the sniffing, the sipping. The glasses, the corkscrews, the bottle stoppers, the decanters.
You just can't do all that stuff with Diet Coke, can you?
After many months, I manage perfectly happily without the wine rituals at home, but whenever I go out to a restaurant, I feel like there's something missing.
I get a bit edgy - scratchy. I don't know what to do with my hands. So I end up eating really quickly, then I sit there thinking now what?
Well, I have now found a solution to this problem of the missing ritual and the jobless hands:
I'm afraid it only works in some restaurants, specifically Chinese, Thai or Japanese, but since everything in London is going 'Asian Fusion', that's not too much of a problem.
I've read up a bit on tea rituals. Look at this, from Yauatcha.com: