Three Wine Faux-Pas to Avoid

SS Member Image By ajr1005 09.18.09
Three Wine Faux-Pas to Avoid

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.
"If a glass of wine is poured half-full (or less), it is most readily swirled without creating spillage. "
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! 

Make a Comment

Comment  *
  • JMaynard85 By JMaynard85

    I have been known to grab the bulb of the glass.. will definitely try to not do that from now on! Although Ice Cubes in wine??! ICK! I think that is TOTALLY gross!

  • ewisehart7 By ewisehart7

    I work in a restaurant and I see women ALL the time ask for a glass of ice with their wine. Some people just don't care!

  • momagarry By momagarry

    This is really useful information. THanks!

  • kristinejanis By kristinejanis

    thank goodness i haven't seen anyone put ice into their wine! ;p but i learned a great deal about wines through the movie sideways :) and it was through that movie as well that i started getting interested in attending wine-tasting events :)

  • likeinabook By likeinabook

    I am not a wine connoisseur but did know most of these. That makes me feel good!

  • jlincon71 By jlincon71

    what people put ice in wine thats just wrong...i hope i never get to see that!

  • SiLvEr-StArS By SiLvEr-StArS

    I think its not a Good Idea to put an ice cube in wine. You'll lose the taste and quaity in the wine. Iv'e always wanted to go to a expert on wine tasting , where they make you try diff types of wine, and explain what wine goes with what. Etc.....

  • amyteresar By amyteresar

    i agree with the poster that says to do what works for you.

  • mazziemae By mazziemae

    I say if you enjoy your wine a certain way then go for it.

  • ugotcarrie By ugotcarrie

    Non Conforming. Well I went to a wine tasting last night, just happened upon it at the liquor store. They served oaky strong red wines. Made my eyes burn,. Quite frankly I believe people should enjoy wine the way it tastes the best for them. I like to add ice, splenda and lime to strong red wines. Make them easier to drink. Tastes the way I like it. After all I am the one drinking it. Just my humble opinion.

  • rainbowbrite812 By rainbowbrite812

    Ice & Wine should not mix!! I used to work at a cafe'/market that had a VERY large selection of wine and we had a 2 day class on how to pour wine, how to pair wine, how to open wine, etc and while i'm not a huge wine drinker it just pains me to see wine faux pas!

  • daisykuchins By daisykuchins

    Ice in a glass of wine is just wrong. If it is an extremely hot day and I would like to keep a glass of white wine cool, I like to freeze grapes and put a couple in the wine glass. This way you don't get any melted water, and it doesn't make the wine too cold, just cool enough.

  • MrsMichelle By MrsMichelle

    Interesting, I don't think I've ever seen someone put an ice cube in a glass of wine... but then again, I don't like ice in any drink because of how it alters the flavor :) The half full is a good reminder though. I do see glasses more full than that quite frequently!

  • LorraineWS By LorraineWS

    No! I esp. dislike seeing someone pop ice cubes into wine! That and drinking wine too cold.

More stories like this