1 in 5 of us fancy ourselves as wine connoisseurs, according to a recent survey, but the reality is that we know diddly squat about wines.
The most common faux pas include complaining that the red wine isn’t cold enough, swilling wine in the glass with such enthusiasm that it spills everywhere and some are even found guilty of asking for a slice of lemon.
The poll, conducted by French Wines With Style, looked at 2,000 adults, and found that among the top faux pas, some included complaining that the waiter hadn't poured enough wine (when it was just poured for a tasting). Another was that 20% of people order their food without thinking about the food it will match.
Other lesser known faux pas (although you'd think it was common sense) is not storing wine next to the cooker, and perhaps more forgivingly, not everyone knows when to throw wine away. Apparently 10% of us hold onto rosé for more than two years, which is not recommended because it is a type of wine that is meant to be drunk young.
We're definitely guilty of this - nearly 23% order by referencing the wine number on a menu to avoid saying it incorrectly.
14% of us are not ashamed to say that they don't know enough about wine to do proper food pairing, while 32% say they prefer someone else to order the wine because it takes the pressure off.
But wine bores beware - conversely, 30% say they find it really irritating if someone else tries to order for them.
TIPS 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 DRINKING 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
Source: French Wines With Style