Three Wine Faux-Pas to Avoid

   By ajr1005  Sep 18, 2009

There’s no question that some of the biggest wine faux-pas are the least well known, and some of the mythical wine faux-pas ("No drinking white wine with steak,") are simply untrue. Follow this quick list of three wine faux-pas to avoid in any setting, and you’ll be sure to come off as wine savvy:

How to Hold a Glass of Wine
Wine glasses are beautifully shaped. They are also an example of form meeting function, where the glass itself is supposed to help enhance your wine-tasting experience. First, the bulb of the glass is shaped in such a way to help aerate the wine, enabling oxygen to interact with the living, breathing juice, thus release aromas that comprise a wine’s elegant set of scents, or the “nose” of the wine. Secondly, it has a stem for a reason. A stem not only looks elegant, but it serves two key functions: 1) It enables you to more easily swirl the glass and examine the wine’s color, key steps to take when wine tasting, and 2) It provides you something to hold other than the bulb of the glass. Putting your hands on the bulb of the glass not only leaves ugly fingerprints but serves to heat the wine, which is undesirable for white and red wines alike. So when enjoying a glass of wine next, please avoid this wine faux pas and hold the stem, or even the base of the glass instead.
Putting Ice Cubes in a Glass of White Wine
It pains me greatly to see someone, often women, pop ice cubs into their white wine. For one, the winemaker has gone to great lengths to create a wine with body, balance, and a beginning, middle, and end that is totally disrupted when a wine is literally “watered down.” Secondly, if the goal is to chill a glass of wine more, the most time-efficient way to do so is to pop it into a freezer for 10 minutes, or better yet, put it in a tub of ice WITH some cold water in it (so the bottle is in a freezing bath). Within a matter of minutes the whole bottle will be further chilled- and the composition of the wine preserved.
Pouring or Consuming a Glass of Wine That’s About to Spill
Since so much (80%!) of the wine tasting experience is olfactory, the best way to enhance your wine tasting experience on a day-to-day basis is to take the time to let a wine aerate before you start drinking it, either by letting an open bottle sit on the counter for 15-20 minutes before consuming it, decanting it, or letting it aerate in the wine glass itself. If a glass of wine is poured half-full (or less), it is most readily swirled without creating spillage. If a glass of wine is poured too full, not only does it inhibit your ability to swirl the wine, thus maximizing your personal enjoyment, but it looks a bit sloppy, can more easily spill on you, making anyone look and feel like a lush. All tasting-tips aside, no one likes to look like a lush. So next time you are serving a glass of wine, or being served one, be conscientious to pour or ask for a glass to only be poured half-full. A secret of mine is to ask for a single glass on a restaurant wine list to be split into two glasses. In so doing, you avoid feeling “cheated” and can even more readily share your wine with your wine-tasting partner, adding to the fun of the experience.
Are you guilty of committing any of these wine faux-pas? Join the wine conversation! 

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melc911 by melc911 | Robbinsville, NJ
Sep 30, 2010

I think people should enjoy wine the way they want to. that being said, I would never put ice in my wine, I usually don't put ice in any drink.

callmedede by callmedede | Pikeville, KY
Dec 28, 2009

I was at a party the other night and the waitress handed me a glass of wine with ice in it. I am not a wine expert but I knew that was not the way it was suposed to be served, But, I think it tasted good that way. I asked my friends if this was normal they said no, but, the wait staff had forgotten to put the wine on ice and did this as a shortcut. No one else minded ... so I didn't either. It was good that way.

kbrownlaw by kbrownlaw | Chicago, IL
Dec 16, 2009

Putting ice in wine is like asking for steak to be cooked "well done"...its like a slap in the face to the chef/winemaker.

aztlgrl by aztlgrl | Yuma, AZ
Dec 11, 2009

90% of the women I know put ice cubes in their wine. I'm not a wine drinker however I found it's easier for me to stomach when I put ice cubes in mine. I don't feel its an insult to the wine maker, I mean I AM drinking it. BSo I may be guilty of the ice cubes but I DO drink it with my pinky out...just to be fancy.

rechelle1 by rechelle1 | Kimball, NE
Nov 26, 2009

I have a group of friends who will only drink their wine with soda added- every time they pour some pop in their wine glass I swear I can hear wine connoisseurs all over gasping in shock and clutching their chests as they faint dead away-

luv2couponmommy by luv2couponmommy | Howell, MI
Nov 17, 2009

**Laughing** Since when is it a crime to put an ice cube in your glass of wine (although, I do prefer my wine without ice)? I don't like steak sauce on my steak either, but I don't say, "YUCK!" to somebody who does. This thread is really striking me as funny... I agree with some of the other ladies...LIVE, LOVE, LAUGH and DRINK WHATEVER YOU LIKE, HOWEVER YOU LIKE!

gnickels by gnickels | Southgate, MI
Nov 15, 2009

I agree with drinking wine any way that you enjoy it. Iknow a few women, that when they first started drinking wine, they used ice cubes and built up to not using them. It helped them to get used to it. However, Ialways thought that you were supposed to hold the globe of red wine glasses to release the tannins..

bhendrich by bhendrich | EASLEY, SC
Nov 09, 2009

I have been guilty of not always holding my glass by the stem. I've never had the desire though to put ice in my wine. Thanks for the tips!

marylynnf by marylynnf | Three Rivers, MI
Nov 05, 2009

Not a wine drinker, if I was I would be adding the ice. Specifically to dilute the taste. The info on holding the glass and not filling it to the top is good to know and can be good for things other than wine. I am with Hollysmom - Live, Love, Laugh and drink whatever you like however you like it it isn't a law. ;)

Katria by Katria | Bryan, OH
Nov 05, 2009

There are some wines where I have added an ice cube or two to dilute on purpose, just due to them being too sweet / bitter for my personal taste. However the information regarding holding the wine glass is new to me, thanks!

Hollysmom by Hollysmom | Harrison Township, MI
Nov 04, 2009

In my humble opinion, life if too short to sweat the small stuff, to each his own. Ripple out of a bottle in a brown bag might not be my taste, but, then neither is the overwhelming aftershave of a certain "know-it-all" wine connoisseur. Live, Love, Laugh and drink it "your way"!

divadelta by divadelta | STARKVILLE, MS
Nov 02, 2009

I took a wine appreciation class in all places, college. (You had to be 21 or older to take it though). Dr. Vine (his real name) taught us to appreciate the wonderful aromas, flavors and textures of wine. We learned to appreciate the finer elements different wines have to offer. Our teacher was the wine buyer for a major airline, so we had the opportunity to taste absolutely great (including very pricey) wines from around the globe (many of which I still couldn't afford). We also learn that big price doesn't necessarily equate to great flavor. I really appreciate the knowledge he instilled in us, though I know some people took the class solely for the opportunity to drink wine and eat the palate cleansers. I'm grateful I had the opportunity to enjoy wines I may not ever partake of again ...Mississippi State knows how to refine her students. ;-)

lainy13 by lainy13 | Tampa, FL
Nov 01, 2009

I have seen all three of these and am always surprised to watch someone add ice to their wine. I personally prefer the wine served in a glass that is filled with the proper pour and a larger size glass that leaves plenty of room for the wine. In my opinion, I agree that the taste of the wine changes between a full glass and a glass 1/2 full.

kartogis by kartogis | SAINT LOUIS, MO
Oct 30, 2009

i like the ice in my red wine occasionally if i'm doing a spritzer, otherwise i agree with the author, it waters the wine way too much. as for 1/2 glass, i just dont get that. my husband wont split with me, and if i get 1/2 a glass then i feel like i'm being cheated.

dgrossman by dgrossman | NEW YORK, NY
Oct 30, 2009

I've heard this great trick so that no one needs to buy a wine refrigerator: if you're serving white, leave it in the fridge all day and take it out 20 mins before serving. If you're serving red, put it IN the fridge 20 mins before serving. Great temps for each that way.