We’re a nation of wine lovers. Britain is the sixth biggest wine-drinking country in the world but this doesn’t mean we know what we’re doing. A survey by International Wine Challenge reveals that we have a lot to learn when it comes to our plonk.
Amongst the mistakes Brits make when it comes to wine are drinking it straight from the bottle, gulping instead of sipping it and serving it in chipped or lipstick-stained glasses. Other no-nos are topping red wine up with lemonade, adding fruit to white wine and shaking a bottle of wine before serving it.
And some of us love our wine so much that we forget our manners when hosting parties, filling our own glasses before our guests’.
The survey also reveals that while a quarter of Brits are embarrassed when making wine faux pas in social situations a third of us don’t really care and find slip-ups funny (which is possibly due to all the wine we’ve been drinking).
Rules surrounding food and wine pairings also aren’t as rigid as people believe. “People tend to match red wine with red meat, and white wine with white meat and fish, but finding the perfect pairing is also influenced by the flavours and sauce present,” explains Joe Wadsack from International Wine Challenge. “A dish such as rustic tomato chicken stew would work well with a fruity red, whereas a fragrant Greek lamb dish with lemons and olives would naturally suit a white wine.”
Wadsack also has some words of comfort for those who may be feeling embarrassed about their wine-drinking habits. “There are certain guidelines that should enhance your enjoyment of wine, but people should worry less about embarrassing themselves with vino,” he said. “While many people believe putting red wine in the fridge is completely wrong, certain light fruity reds for example from Beaujolais and the Loire Valley are often served chilled.”
Be honest — how many of these wine faux pas have you made?
1. Putting red wine in the fridge
2. Using a corkscrew on a screw cap
3. Drinking from the bottle
4. Asking for ice in your wine
5. Serving in a wine glass with old lipstick stains
6. Serving in a wine glass which is chipped
7. Trying to unscrew a cork
8. Taking a cheap bottle to a party
9. Gulping wine rather than sipping it
10. Not bringing a bottle but drinking everyone else’s
11. Drinking it out of a tumbler
12. Pouring yourself a glass before pouring others on the table
13. Asking for a slice of lemon
14. Shaking the bottle before serving
15. Asking the waiter to pour you more when they were intending you to taste it
16. Putting lemonade with red wine
17. Complaining the red wine isn’t cold
18. Pronouncing the ‘t’ in Pinot Noir
19. Taking a bottle home after it wasn’t opened
20. Pronouncing the ‘t’ in Merlot