I am posting this in the Rome forum although the question applies to France and other parts of Italy as well.
I am not overly fussed on drinking wine and do not usually have a glass at restaurants with a meal as I consider it a waste of money given my indifference towards drinking it. My husband enjoys a beer with his meal but does not always have one, especially when he is driving or we are watching the budget.
I am more than happy with a carafe or glass of water but we often noticed or sensed disapproval from waiters when we declined the wine/drinks list. It was uncomfortable feeling as though we "should" be having drinks and more than once we noticed other tables receiving their food first when they came in after us.
Are we the only ones who do not always order drinks when dining out?