10 Most Common Mistakes People Make Drinking Wine
March 22, 2024

10 Most Common Mistakes People Make Drinking Wine

The wine world has a lot of traditions. And believe it or not,many of them are completely fine to break—yes, even that rule about serving red wine only with red meat! However, there are actually some wine rules that are important enough that following them can make or break your entire experience by ruining your wine or simply making it a lot less enjoyable. 

The worst part: these wine drinking mistakes are easier to make than you would think! Could you be accidentally ruining your wine?  Here are some of the most common mistakes people make drinking wine:


Holding your glass by the bowl

This is easily one of the most common mistakes people make while enjoying their wine, but it’s definitely not the most serious. Holding your glass by the bowl warms up your wine faster than it normally would—which increases your chances of getting a taste of way-too-high acidity or tannins during your drinking session.

What you want to do instead is to hold your glass by the stem. In fact, wine stemware was actually designed with this in mind: for people to hold instead of the bowl, to prevent warming wine up!


Drinking wine at the wrong temperature

Like we said, wine that is served too warm brings out unpleasant acidity and tannins. However, there is actually a flipside: when you serve your wine too cold, it closes up so that you can’t pick up any aromas or notes!

If you paid a lot for your wine, this can be a huge waste, since you’re not getting everything the wine has to offer—hence it also being a mistake.

A wine being too cold naturally fixes itself as you’re drinking, so it’s best to actively avoid a wine being too warm by chilling it before drinking, especially if it’s a sparkling, white, or rosé wine. If you live in a tropical country like the Philippines, it also wouldn’t hurt to keep a red in the fridge for maybe half an hour, too!


Storing wine upright

Now, this is a mistake that only applies to bottles with corks. While many people display their wines upright to show off the labels at home, doing so can actually backfire! Storing wine upright can cause the cork to dry up and crumble, or worse, get exposed to compounds that ruin the wine inside.

When you have bottles like these, make sure that you store them on their sides so that the cork stays hydrated and doesn’t crumble. This is why most wine racks make it so that your wine is sideways, or facing downwards.


Saving unopened wine for too long

A lot of people believe that wine gets better over time, but actually, 90% of wine is meant to be consumed within 3-5 years maximum. Past its peak drinking window, many wines either go completely bad, or their flavors become so muted that they’re more difficult to appreciate.

Before you decide to save your bottle for a special occasion or simply for a later date, check if it’s ageable first – and if it isn’t, drink it before it’s too late!


Leaving wine in a warm place

Warmth doesn’t just make your wine momentarily taste bad. Storing your wine in a warm place can also ruin it—except this time, it’s permanent. Heat and direct light are wine’s natural enemy, as these cause it to go bad. That means that the top of your kitchen, your car trunk, or by a window are the worst places to keep it.

The rule is to basically store your wine in a cool, dark place in your home to make sure what you open up hasn’t gone bad.


Keeping wine in your fridge too long

To make sure that the wine stays cool—or just chilled so it’s ready to drink any time—a lot of people decide to put their wine in the refrigerator. However, in the long-term, leaving your wine in the fridge is actually a mistake too.

Refrigerators are usually much colder than your wine needs to be and have a much lower humidity. This makes the environment inside drier to prevent bacterial growth. The colder temperature and lower humidity can cause dry out the cork, expose your wine to too much oxygen, and prematurely age your wine. On top of that, your fridge also has subtle vibrations from its machinery that might actually affect the chemical compounds of your wine. 

It’s a double-whammy when you put your wine in the door of your fridge, where it’ll be warmed down every time you open it to get something else inside. Temperature swings can also contribute to oxidation, so it’s best to keep the temperature relatively constant

Storing your wine in the fridge for a couple of months is fine – but if you don’t plan to drink it any time soon, again, we recommend just finding a cool spot in your home to keep it until you’re ready to chill it to serving temperature.


Throwing away wine because the cork broke

Many people believe that if the cork in your bottle of wine breaks as you’re trying to open it, it automatically means that it has gone bad. This isn’t true—your wine could be perfectly drinkable. A broken cork can just mean that the wine is old, wasn’t stored properly, or maybe that you need to practice your wine opening skills

Unless you smell that something off with your wine (especially old cardboard or wet dog), your wine is very likely still okay and good enough to drink. But if you smell those things and have a broken cork on your hands, it may be a sign that your wine has a fault.


Popping and spraying Champagne bottles

When we picture getting really festive with bubbly, we think of popping open a bottle of Champagne and spraying it everywhere like in the movies or after Formula 1 races . However, there are actually reasons you shouldn’t do it.

One: It’s a waste of wine. If you spray your sparkling, more wine will be on the floor than your glass, which is a huge waste if you paid several thousand pesos for it, as you would with Champagne—which we’d like to add takes a lot of time and effort to make, making it a shame to not drink the way it was meant to be enjoyed.

Second: It can actually be very dangerous. Because of all the pressure inside the bottle (the same pressure that makes the wine bubbly), the corks in sparkling wine bottles can pop out at 40kph and hurt someone. This is especially true when you shake the bottle, which increases the pressure within!

Many things can go wrong, if you don’t know what you’re doing—in which case you should check out our tutorial on how to open sparkling wine. 



Is there really such a thing as too much wine? The answer is yes, if we’re talking about the amount in your glass, which is not necessarily the amount you’re drinking for the night.

Overpouring your wine prevents your wine from getting enough oxygen. This means you’ll get fewer aromas and flavors when you take a sip – which is sad, especially if you’re enjoying an expensive wine

To get the most of your wine, it’s actually best to only pour up to the widest part of the glass. This is called the standard pour, which gives room for the glass’s unique shape to trap aromas and room for you to swirl your wine around.


Putting Ice in Red Wine

While many people would disagree, putting ice in your wine isn’t automatically a mistake: there are exceptions to the rule. Today, there are sparkling wines made for ice, and people all over the word will get away with putting ice into wine with sweetness and acidity—like rosé or Port. However, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a red wine in particular that will improve with an ice cube in it.

The ice dilutes the flavor, and on top of that, with red wine, the extra water just clashes and ruins the tannins in it. It can be very unpleasant, and a waste of wine. Our advice: Chill your red wine, but don’t add ice cubes to it if you can help it.