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7 Deadly Sins of Wine: Avoid These Common Wine Mistakes

7 Deadly Sins of Wine: Avoid These Common Wine Mistakes

Avoid these common wine mistakes and take advantage of every bottle you buy. Besides, it’ll make the wine taste better too.
By Gregory Dal Piaz,

Even experienced wine lovers are guilty of making mistakes. But most of them are easy to sidestep if you know what to look out for. Of course enjoying your beverage is always the most important part of drinking wine but these seven common mistakes could take the fun out of it.

Getting the most out of each bottle is important because wines are typically luxury items. Misusing an opportunity with wine is wasteful at its least and disrespectful at its worst. After all, a lot of people put a ton of effort into ensuring that they put the best wine possible in every bottle.

So avoid these common wine mistakes and take advantage of every bottle you buy. Besides, it’ll make the wine taste better too!

Photo by kenudigit via Flickr/CC

Over-Chilling Wine
This is one of the least problematic wine mistakes you can make and it’s pretty easy to remedy. Just let your wine warm up!

Over chilling wines may make them refreshing, but it also tamps down the aromas and flavors of the wine while highlighting the tannins. Dull, chewy reds and insipid whites are the result of serving your wines too cold.

Make sure you’re serving your wines at the right temperature. Use our handy Wine Serving Temperature Infographic.

Over-Warming Wine
Serving wines too hot is much worse than serving them too cold. The temperature doesn’t do any favors for the wine, but it also tends to be indicative of mistreatment. Wine can be durable when it comes to storage temperatures but care should still be taken to keep them cool.

While storing wine at 70 degrees or so for somewhat extended periods of time may not necessarily disturb that wine, anything hotter and you’d be cooking it. The damage will show up in time in the form of caramel and molasses flavors and premature aging will be accompanied by a change in the wine’s color.

Furthermore, while storing wines around 75 degrees is probably all right, serving them that hot is a big no-no. The high temperatures stimulate the evaporation of alcohol and volatile compounds in the wine, marring the nose while making the wine feel soft and flabby in the mouth. To find out more about wine storage and how it affects wine, click here.

Not Letting a Wine “Breathe”
Letting a wine breath is often thought of pompous but nothing could be further from the truth. Wines have been bottled with durability in mind, often being produced in a reductive or oxygen free environment. The wines need to take a few breaths of air in order to stretch out and relax.

Do you ever think that the last glass of wine from a bottle is the best? That is no coincidence. Letting a wine breath helps to stimulate the development of aromas and soften tannins.

To learn the proper way to decant a wine, check out our Wine 101 Guide to Decanting.

Choosing the Wrong Glass
Glassware does matter. Simple glassware — tumblers even — are fine from time to time. But there is also right time to choose a specific glass for a specific wine — for instance a glass with a large bowl for a big red wine.

A nice, big bowl, at least 10 ounces, gives the wine drinker room to swirl their wine and release the aromas — which can make a wine easier to enjoy. A glass that exposes the wine to air also allows for those aromas to emerge quickly, upping the aromatic intensity even more.

See Also

If you’d like to expand your wine glass collection but you’re on a budget, check out our Guide to Affordable Wine Glasses.

Pairing the Wrong Food with the Wrong Wine
While it is easy to promote a “drink-what-you-like-with-your-dinner” attitude, some wines simply don’t work with certain foods and vice versa. The examples may be limited but a few examples include wines with artichokes, which make wine taste bitter, oily fish and big reds, where the wine tastes like tannin and metal, and salad with low acid wines, where the dressing makes the wine taste sad and flabby.

Discover a few of the traditional go-to wine and food pairings with our Guide to Classic Food and Wine Pairings. Or look even deeper with our Wine Pairing Guides.

Dismissing a Wine After One Tasting
Assuming you know enough about a wine to dismiss it after trying it once is the biggest mistake we make with wine. There are so many things that can make a wine show poorly, from the six mistakes that lead up to this one to things like bad corks, dirty glassware and even an off taste in your mouth.

It all boils down to having an open mind and realizing that we all make mistakes, so next time you don’t have a good experience with a wine, don’t be so quick to blame the wine! So why not hone your wine tasting skills and get to know what it is you’re looking for as you taste wine with our Guide to the Five Key Wine Components.

To read more from Snooth’s Gregory Dal Piaz, visit

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