Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Seven deadly wine sins

1) Don’t cook your wine. Wine retailers will always tell you save your wine shopping as your last errand and don’t place the wine in your trunk. This always makes me wonder, well how did the wine make it to the store? To my knowledge most wines are not shipped on special refrigerated trucks and then there are the non-climate controlled warehouses where many wines spend time before being placed on another truck before arriving at your local wine retailer. Still as a wine lover, do try to be kind to the wine once purchased. For wine moving tips check out Mayflower Moving company’s website regarding the moving and transporting of wine.

2) Don’t cook with wine you wouldn’t drink. We’ve all been there, you open a bottle of wine and just can’t palate the taste yet this is not the opportunity to use the wine in recipes. Close your eyes and pour the offending wine down the sink and find an inexpensive wine you don’t mind drinking to use in your dish.

3) Don’t send wine back at a restaurant only because you don’t like the taste. The only reason one should ever send wine back is if it’s truly flawed. Then you should ask the sommelier or waiter to see if they detect any flaws in the wine. A service has been provided to you and under no other circumstances should you send the wine back.
In addition when the wine is presented at the table, do not sniff the cork. There is absolutely nothing you will learn about the wine from the cork.

4) Don’t buy fancy, over complicated corkscrews. How many of us have fallen victim to seeing the latest and greatest corkscrew, purchasing said corkscrew, fighting and eventually tossing the thing in the trash. One such experiment was with the Co2 cartridge opener, the wine stains are still on the ceiling, don’t ask. One wine club membership included a monstrosity that sat on the counter top taking up much needed space and broke within a month or two. The plastic opener that you position on top of the wine bottle and turn, works to some extent but the synthetic corks always got stuck and required needle nose pliers to extract. Seems the Winged corkscrew may be one of the more popular in homes but this will mutilate your cork and leave bits of cork floating in your wine. The Rabbit seems like a good choice, my budget only allows me to purchase the knock off and they are pretty reliable but you have to replace the corkscrew periodically. Best bet, the simple waiters friend also known as a sommelier knife. No muss, no fuss and nothing to ever replace. My favorite of these is the one with the hinged handle-lever.

5) Don’t think white wine has to go with fish and white meat and red wine with red meat. This is an old school belief and the wine should be chosen on your individual tastes, not something dictated. So drink what you like and what tastes good to you.

6) Don’t serve wine at the wrong temperature. This also covers not storing wine in your refrigerator, near a window with direct light near a fireplace or any other source of heat. Wine Enthusiast recommends storing all wines at 55 degrees and serving red wines at 65 and whites at 47 degrees. These are not the temperatures to use for long term storing but for consumption in a few months this should be fine.

7) Don’t expect the wine you bring to a dinner party or as a hostess gift to be served that night. When invited to a home whether for a dinner party or just a get together, many hosts will already have the wine menu planned. If bringing a bottle of wine, don’t expect and don’t be upset if that wine is not served that night. Many wine enthusiasts will incorporate the wine menu into the dinner menu or just want to serve their guests some of their favorite wines. The wine is always welcomed but may be served at a later time.
I hope these tips help you to enjoy wine even more.

2009© Kellie Stargaard. All Rights Reserved.


  1. Kellie,

    I like you suggestions on wine sins and agree with them all. However, #2 can be taken to the extreme. I ran across a guy suggesting that I buy an $80 bottle of wine and he was telling me that he had marinated a couple of steaks in a bottle of it the night before and they were great. Gee, i hope so after using an $80 bottle!! And then he could not even drink the wine left since it had touched raw meat. LOL.


  2. I keep all my wine at 55 but here is a list of wine storage temperatures for various wines.

  3. Thanks for the comments and yes Ken, I agree with you, $80 wine for marinade.....