We all make mistakes. While drinking wine isn’t difficult – you open a bottle, pour the wine in the glass and take a sip – there are several common mistakes many people make in the process. But don’t worry, we’re here to help! Here are five of the most common mistakes people make with wine, and how to correct them.
You’re Holding Your Wine Glass Wrong
While it might be more comfortable and seem logical to hold your wine glass at the bottom of the bowl, doing so is actually not good for the wine. The reason wine glasses have stems in the first place is to avoid our own body heat warming the beverage, which can impact everything from the smell to the taste (usually not in a good way). Also, holding the glass by the stem or the base makes it much easier to actually swirl the wine and open it up, another reason for the traditional wine glass design.
You’re Serving Your Wine (Especially White) At The Wrong Temperature
Even though some commercials show white wine being served ice cold, and most wine shops sell red at room temperature, they are both not meant to be served that way. Serving a white wine too cold locks down all of its flavors and aromas, leaving you with very little to taste and appreciate. Sure it might go down easy because it’s so cold, but you’re robbing yourself of all of the wine’s delicious aromas and flavors. In terms of red wine, serving it at room temperature often causes the wine’s alcohol flavors and aromas to dominate, instead of the delicate fruit, which can make it taste flat and flabby. Cooling it down slightly before serving prevents this. For more on the proper serving temperatures for wine, see this infographic.
You’re Decanting It Too Long
Yes, we know there are all these guides out there that tell you the optimal time to decant a specific bottle, but we say just stop it. All any wine really needs to open up is about thirty minutes in the decanter; after that, you should start drinking and enjoy the journey as the wine evolves. Letting a wine sit for a longer prescribed amount of time might get you to a place that other drinkers claim is ideal on popular message boards and forums, but then you will completely miss how you got there in the first place. And that’s one of the most enjoyable parts of drinking wine.
You’re Storing It Wrong
You might see wine being sold standing upright under the bright lights of a wine shop, but that’s not the way you’re supposed to store it. Placing your wine on its side in a cool, dark place is the best way to ensure your wine will last. For a complete guide on storing wine, check out our 101.
You’re Over-thinking It
At the end of the day, wine is about enjoyment and drinking it in the company of others. With all of the furor surrounding wine, it might seem as if to enjoy wine it’s more important to have an in-depth knowledge of wine regions or the ability to blind taste and pair with food, but that is absolutely not the case. So what if you aren’t recording every wine and tasting note on your smart phone, or you forgot to bring along your tasting journal? If you enjoy what’s in your glass at the moment in time you’re drinking it, that’s the most important part. If everyone around you claims to smell obscure scents in the wine, such as gooseberries, and all you smell are grapes, who cares? You’re probably having the better time. We’d all do well to remember this.