The top five mistakes British people make when drinking wine


Wine experts revealed the top faux pas committed by millions of Brits – including warming bottles on a radiator and storing Champagne in the fridge.

Researchers found that one in five adults reckon they are a wine connoisseur and do their best to convince friends, family and colleagues of their plonk prowess.

But the reality is that many commit basic mistakes at home and embarrassing blunders when dining in restaurants.

Many make the simple error of storing wine in the kitchen – which is far too hot – while others unwittingly dilute the flavour by using ice cubes to chill their tipple.

Millions of people mistake bits of floating cork to be a sign of a ‘corked’ wine and have wrongly returned the bottle at a restaurant.

The study also found that – rather than suffer the embarrassment of mispronouncing a name – many order the wine by number from a menu.

Researchers found that one in 12 has even complained that the waiter hasn’t poured them enough wine – when the intention was for them to just taste it.

Another common mistake is ordering a wine without a thought to the food they are eating, the poll by French Wines with Style found.

Gerard Basset MW, OBE, ambassador for the French Wines with Style campaign which carried out the research to help people avoid making these mistakes, said: ”What’s most important is that people enjoy their wine, have the confidence to experiment and drink whatever they enjoy.

”I can understand that people are avoiding certain wines because they are not familiar with the pronunciation or how best to enjoy them but it is a shame as they could miss out some real exciting gems.

”On occasion even experts give conflicting advice, so don’t be too concerned if you make a slip-up every now and then.”

The study also revealed one in ten adults always order expensive wine as they believe it would taste better than cheaper styles.

Another one in ten tend to opt for wines with a higher alcohol content as they think they are better quality.

Fifty-eight per cent of adults never bother to alter the wine they drink to complement their food and 14 per cent said they just don’t know enough about wine to know what goes with what.

In fact, 32 per cent of those polled said they prefer it when someone orders wine for them as it takes the pressure off.

Although 30 per cent disagreed and said they found it patronising if someone else tried to ‘take control’ of the wine list when out at a restaurant.

Two thirds (66 per cent) rated their wine knowledge as ‘so-so’.  And only 12 per cent rated it as very good or excellent.

Therefore it comes as no surprise that many were left confused as to what temperature to serve red wine and where to store wine in the home.

But four in ten adults (41 per cent) believe their wine knowledge will improve with age.

Gerard Basset added: ”We want people to experiment with their own food and French wine matches.

”If you love the taste of a particular wine with a particular food, then just go for it without worrying what others may think of your selection.  And if you want advice don’t be afraid to ask whether in store or in a restaurant.

”The study also found more than one in twenty have no idea wine needs to be stored away from the cooker and one in ten have hung onto a bottle or rosé for more than two years in the hope it will ‘mature’ – when it should be drunk young.”

To help drinkers get the most out of their wine drinking, French Wines with Style has highlighted some easy fixes to the Top Ten mistakes that Brits make:

At Home

1. Avoid storing wine in the kitchen (It’s far too warm and will damage the quality)
2.Don’t permanently keep Champagne in the fridge (the cork will shrink and it’ll lose its fizz)
3.Never warm a bottle of wine on a radiator or in front of a fire (it will make the wine seem ‘soupy and make the flavours indistinct)
4.”Cellaring” rosé wine for more than two years is not a good plan (it’s not a wine made for cellaring and always best drunk young)
5.Give your wine a quick blast in the freezer to chill it down, but avoid putting ice in your glass  (unless you want to dilute it)

When Out

1. Don’t worry about sniffing the cork (it’ll only ever smell of cork) but do taste the wine first
2. Bits of cork are floating in the glass doesn’t mean a wine is ‘corked'(but if the wine smells of musty old books then it’s best avoided)
3. Don’t drink red wine too chilled (unless it’s a young lighter-bodied red made from grapes like Pinot Noir, Gamay and Cabernet Franc) but not too warm either
4. Never complain to the waiter that you want a top-up when they first pour you a small measure of wine, they want you to taste it
5. Avoid a vigorous swilling of your wine glass when tasting, you just increase the chance of spilling it over yourself


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here