My wife told me about someone she knows who considers herself a wine connoisseur, but when she goes out and orders a glass or a bottle, she doesn’t tip on whatever the beverage cost. When asked why, she replied that the business already marks up the wine too much.

I don’t drink alcohol, but this seems like very bad reasoning to me. Nothing in a retail food outlet gets marked up more than soda. If a glass of Pepsi costs me $3.00, that’s a profit of at least $2.95 for the business owner. Should I not tip on that? The huge margin is the reason most places give free refills on soda, except for restaurants that annoyingly serve those glass six-ounce bottles and then charge for each new one I order.

Still, the tip is not for the restaurateur, but the server. Regardless of the beverage, it doesn’t serve itself.

I have witnessed this person taking ten minutes to make a choice from the wine list. Then when it was brought — with great pomp and circumstance and the server using one of those magical corkscrews that get the whole thing out with a gentle tug — they poured her an ounce, she swirled, sniffed, tasted it, and nodded her approval. Fortunately, I’ve never seen her make the “yuck!” face and send it back. But there must be people who do, which makes me wonder what the restaurant does with the rest of the wine in that bottle. I hesitate to even send back a Pepsi that doesn’t have enough carbonation in it, and you’re rejecting a wine you chose because it was a little too oaky for your sophisticated palate?

I always get a kick out of movie and TV scenes where a guest shows up at someone’s house and the host asks if they want a drink. When they receive an affirmative reply, they just pour whatever brown-colored liquid is on their bar into a glass — with ice cubes that have somehow sat there forever without melting one bit. Does everyone who drinks liquor like every kind of alcohol? What if I don’t like bourbon, whiskey, rye, gin, vodka, or whatever you’re pouring? Do I just have to down it and keep quiet? And how come no one ever pulls out a blender to make a frozen margarita?

The same non-branding occurs with beer. A guy walks into a bar, is asked, “What’ll you have?” When the response is, “Gimme a beer,” the bartender draws a cold mystery lager from the tap and serves it. I’ve been at restaurants with 32 different brews on tap and even more in bottles, but not one was labeled “generic.” God forbid the guy’s a Fox News viewer who’s served a Bud Light!

Don’t even get me started on people who walk around with flasks full of booze. That seems like a pretty good indicator you’re an alcoholic, just as a backpack full of Milky Way bars may mean you’re on the road to diabetes.

On screen, if the flask carrier is in the presence of someone else — usually after a particularly physical or otherwise draining scene — they’ll offer it to the other person, who always takes a pull without asking what’s inside. Just once, I’d like that second person to act surprised and say, “Did you just give me a flask full of Hawaiian Punch?”

Yes, I did, and I still expect the customary 20% tip.