By Nathan Lee, TLE Correspondent
In London, drinking wine from the bottle may be frowned upon, but at times it is downright necessary.
Indeed, it is one of 20 wine commonly-committed wine faux pas revealed in a study of 2,000 Brits which found almost a third of Brits (30 per cent) admit to ‘necking’ their wine, rather than savouring the taste and flavour.
Ten per cent of them have tried to open a screwcap with a corkscrew at least once, while about 20 per cent of the wine drinkers surveyed said they drink it out of a tumbler rather than from a wine glass. A further 36 per cent of wine drinkers surveyed admitted to storing red wine in the fridge.
Brits also believe they are regularly making poor food and wine pairings such as drinking white wine with red meat and pairing red wine with fish.
As much as Brits love their wine, 61 per cent of those quizzed would rate their knowledge of wine as ‘beginner’, with half admitting to feeling daunted when trying to choose wine in restaurants.
Joe Wadsack, from the International Wine Challenge which commissioned the survey said: “Of course, there are certain guidelines that should enhance your enjoyment of wine, but people should worry less about embarrassing themselves with vino. There still seems to be a lot of confusion amongst drinkers about the ‘rules’ of wine and whether they think they are making a wine faux pas.
“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. Rules surrounding food and wine pairings also aren’t as rigid as people believe. 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.”
While a quarter of those polled said it was embarrassing when slipping-up in a social situation due to wine ignorance, a more laid back third of the population thought wine faux pas were funny and they didn’t give ‘two hoots’.
Shockingly, one in five Brits admitted to having had a heated debate or argument over wine. However, it seems Brits are keen to improve their wine knowledge with 55 per cent said they would like to learn more about wine.
When it comes to choosing wines, cost was a key factor for Brits, with half of wine drinkers surveyed saying price was the main consideration when purchasing wine, while one in four would buy wine that was on offer.
Looks and familiarity are also important for Brits, with 38 per cent opting for a wine that comes in an attractive bottle, while 30 per cent would choose a brand they were familiar with. A savvy one in thirteen said they would select wines which were award winning when looking for the perfect vino for an occasion.
Over one in ten would take recommendations from friends and family when choosing wine. One in ten would phone a host ahead of a dinner party to choose a wine to match the menu.
Joe Wadsack continued: “It is clear that for many Brits, choosing the right wine can be a daunting prospect. With supermarkets and wine shops offering so much choice nowadays, it is easy to be overwhelmed.
“However, if shoppers spot an International Wine Challenge medal on a wine, they can buy with confidence knowing that it has been blind tasted by some of the best wine judges in the world. Shoppers should use IWC medals as their wine aisle navigation system, helping them broaden their wine horizons and buy with confidence.”
Top 20 Wine Faux Pas
- Putting red wine in the fridge
- Using a corkscrew on a screwcap
- Drinking from the bottle
- Asking for ice in your wine
- Serving in a wine glass with old lipstick stains
- Chipped glasses
- Trying to unscrew a cork
- Taking a cheap bottle to a party
- Gulping wine rather than sipping it
- Not bringing a bottle but drinking everyone else’s
- Drinking it out of a tumbler
- Pouring yourself a glass before pouring others on the table
- Asking for a slice of lemon
- Shaking the bottle before serving
- Asking the waiting to pour you more when they were intending you to taste it
- Putting lemonade with red wine
- Complaining the red wine isn’t cold
- Pronouncing the ‘t’ in Pinot Noir
- Taking a bottle home with you after it wasn’t opened at the host’s party
- Pronouncing the ‘t’ in Merlot