Tourism chiefs have produced a curious list of national characteristics designed to help Britons avoid offending foreigners when they visit England for the 2012 Olympic games.
The list is a truly bizarre set of generalisations, many of which feel like they have been lifted directly from Fawlty Towers.
What has this got to do with wine? Well, how about this gem about our South American cousins:
Be careful how you pour wine for an Argentinian. The whole process involves a number of social taboos and unless you understand them you could insult someone. For example, pouring wine backwards into a glass indicates hostility.
Now, I have to say that I like a good pop at the Argentinians as much as the next man but this is a new one on me. And to be honest I have no idea what constitutes ‘pouring wine backwards into a glass’. It sounds like an act that the dwarf from Twin Peaks might perform in the Black Lodge.
The list was put together by VisitBritain with, what we hope (although we can’t be sure), is a certain dollop of irony.
Feast your prejudices on this!!!:
A smiling Japanese person is not necessarily happy.
Avoid winking at someone from Hong Kong.
Remember Arabs are not used to being told what to do.
Do not be alarmed if South Africans announce that they were held up by robots.
Don’t ask a Brazilian personal questions.
Avoid physical contact when first meeting someone from India.
When meeting Mexicans it is best not to discuss poverty, illegal aliens, earthquakes or their 1845-6 war with America.
Never call a Canadian an American.
Do not take offence if an Australian or a New Zealander makes a joke about “Poms”.
Please feel free to add your own national prejudices in the comments below.