20 common wine mistakes you’re probably making

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  • Have you been drinking wine wrong? Even the women in the picture are making the most common wine drinking mistake!

    We had thought we were pretty good at drinking wine. We have certainly had a lot of practice! But we were shocked to discover that we are guilty of making loads of basic mistakes. Virgin wines surveyed 2,000 randomly selected Brits and compiled a list of the 20 most common mistakes made when drinking wine.

    So when you’re next sipping smugly on your latest best cheap wine deal or bargain Aldi wine offering, consider fixing a few of these wine no-nos…

    Common wine mistakes

    1. Holding a wine glass by the bulb, and not the stem
    2. Drinking wine from something that isn’t a wine glass
    3. Serving red wine directly from the bottle and not allowing it to ‘breathe’ first
    4. Damaging the wine cork and pushing the cork down the bottle
    5. Mispronouncing a type / name of wine
    6. Pouring red wine into a white wine glass or white wine into a red wine glass
    7. Serving white wine with a red meat
    8. Filling a wine glass to the very top
    9. Keeping a bottle of wine open for too long
    10. Putting ice cubes in wine
    11. Serving the entire bottle of a good quality red
    12. Adding lemonade or coke to red or white wine to water it down
    13. Serving white wine at room temperature
    14. Storing corked wine vertically
    15. Drinking wine from a bottle rather than a glass
    16. Corking a bottle of red wine and drinking it anyway
    17. Trying to use a corkscrew on a screwcap
    18. Serving a ‘heavy’ red wine with fish
    19. Heating red wine on a radiator
    20. Pretending to know what a wine’s ‘bouquet’ was even though you had no idea

    The most common mistake made by those polled was holding a wine glass by the bulb, and not the stem. Holding a wine glass by the bulb will warm the wine. So it’s much better to hold a wine glass correctly, by the stem. If you are drinking a wine that should be served cold, such as white wine, this is particularly important.

    Number two on the list is drinking wine from something that isn’t a wine glass. Andrew Baker is a Master of Wine and the in-house wine expert at Virgin wines. He explains that “A lot of people in the poll admitted to drinking from incorrect glassware.” The most appropriate glass to drink wine from is a wine glass. Andrew explains that “Stemware is of course the best glassware for drinking wine as they have been designed for the job – these types of glasses help maintain the temperate and aeration of wine.”

    drinking red wine


    Another classic mistake is serving wine directly from the bottle and not allowing it to breath first. Allowing wine to ‘breath’ is basically leaving the wine exposed to the air before drinking it. Leaving the wine to come into contact with oxygen will have an effect on the flavour. This process is called aerating wine. It will have a more profound effect on red wines. And is why red wine is often poured into decanters prior to drinking.

    If this is something you don’t already do we recommend you try it next time you crack open a bottle. It even works on cheap wines from the supermarket. You will be impressed with the evolution in flavour. Pour the wine you intend to drink from the bottle into a decanter or failing that a jug will work. Allow the wine to sit for 10 mins exposed before filling your glass. Try this alongside the wine straight from the bottle and see if you can taste the difference.

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