Wine lovers will know that wine is not always a simple drink. As you need a bit of knowledge to make a great purchase and to store the wine correctly, it is easy to get some wine etiquette wrong. These are some of the most common mistakes wine drinkers make.
Overfilling the Glass
The guide for pouring wine into a glass is that only around a third of the glass should be filled, rather than pouring as much in as you can. There are a number of reasons for this that are meant to better your drinking experience. Firstly, having less of the drink in your glass means that white wine will not warm up too quickly, and red wine will be able to develop its aromas fully. It also means that you won’t drink all the wine quickly, allowing you to appreciate the complexities of your glassful, and stopping you from getting wildly drunk too soon!
Getting the Temperature Wrong
People have a tendency to either bung all bottles in the fridge or leave them all out on a worktop or in a cupboard. This leaves your wine tasting not at its best when you come to drink it. While the guidelines are that white wine should be kept in the fridge and red wine at room temperature, this advice can often get taken too far. For example, chilling a white wine too much can cause it to lose some of its great taste and aroma. Gaining the optimum temperature for red wine is simply just to let it warm up to room temperature on its own. Although it is commonly believed that red wines should never go in the fridge, lighter-bodied red wines, such as Beaujolais, are perfect a little chilled, especially in warmer periods. The best way to ensure that your wine is kept at its ideal temperature is to invest in a wine cabinet, such as the multi-temperature Liebherr Vinothek wine cabinet, which has the option of chilling different shelves at different temperatures, ensuring that each bottle type is correctly stored!
Screw Tops Don’t Always Mean Cheap
While initially, screw tops were mostly used for cheaper bottles of wine, nowadays many quality wines are closed using screw tops as opposed to corks. Many wineries switched over to screw tops due to fears about their wine becoming corked from sealing with a tainted cork. This is particularly the case with countries newer to wine producing, such as New Zealand, as traditional wineries, such as those in France, do still mostly stick with corks.
Bottles Stored Standing
If you are not planning on drinking a bottle of wine within the next few weeks, it needs to be stored lying down in a room without too much light exposure or changes in temperature. For fine wines, or wines being left to age for more than five years, it is best to get a properly humidity-controlled system in place, such as a wine cellar or temperature control cabinet - standard bottles of wine will be fine just on a wine rack though.
Spending Too Little
While not everyone will be able to afford to splash out a little more on a bottle of wine, those who can should ditch the £5 bottle for an £8 one. Spending just a couple of pounds more will effectively double the quality of wine you are drinking. This is due to the duty and import rates in the UK that mean most of the money you are putting towards a cheaper bottle will be going on these rates rather than on the actual wine. By spending a little more, you are putting more money towards the drink itself, meaning you will see a dramatic change in the quality. Understandably, this can get a little pricey, so it can be an idea to buy one bottle of good wine when you would have ordinarily got two mediocre bottles, as the satisfaction from the sip will make up for less of the drink!
Keeping Open Bottles for Too Long or Too Short a Time
People often get how long you should leave a bottle of wine open for wrong. This goes both ways, with wine left in the fridge for weeks at a time until it begins to taste like vinegar or poured away after only one day. The exact length of time a bottle can be kept is entirely dependent on the type of wine you have been drinking. Most wines will last for at least three days if properly stoppered and kept in the fridge. More alcoholic or sweet wines, such as port, can last for the longest time, but this is only a couple of weeks if stored in a cool and dark place.
Not Trying Wine When a Waiter Offers
One of the most common mistakes for wine drinkers in restaurants is dismissing the waiter when they offer for you to try the wine. When they do this, it isn’t to see whether you like the taste or not, but rather to determine if the wine has faults, such as being corked or oxidized. Taking a sip of wine when offered gives you the chance to detect any musty or off tastes, allowing you to ask the waiters opinion and send the wine back before it is poured into everyone’s glasses. It is important to speak up if there is an issue with the wine, as sommeliers are there to bring you the best wine experience with your meal!