9 wine rules you should break right now



Wine scares people off. It can make people feel stupid, or at least very self-conscious.

And the perceived lack of wine knowledge is a prime cause of people avoiding something they enjoy when in public.

Wine is supposed to be fun. So, in that spirit let me dismiss a number of “rules” that make people feel self-conscious and shouldn’t.

Many a movie and TV program poke fun at the ritual of ordering wine at a restaurant (though none as well as Steve Martin’s “The Jerk”) and reinforce the myth that wine is something to be studied before you can enjoy.

Wine is a drink that should make you happy — and that’s it. There really are no other rules. With that in mind, here are 10 rules should you totally ignore.

1. Don’t put ice in your wine

I broke this rule recently. It was hot and the bottle of rosé I picked up at the wine store was also hot (or at least room temperature). I could have waited for it to get cold in the fridge or popped it in the freezer, but I really wanted a glass of wine immediately. So I put an ice cube in my rose. It was delicious.

2. Wine should come in a bottle

Just say yes to wine in a box, in a can, and on tap. Yes, yes, and yes. We have millennials to thank for this (if nothing else).

3. Don’t chill your red wine

Some reds want to be cool. Maybe not ice cold, but colder than you think. If you want to get technical about it, the correct term is probably “cellar temperature.”

4. There’s a right glass for your wine

The idea that there is a different glass for nearly every varietal of wine blows my mind. And while yes, it’s kind of nice when they bring out one of those really big-bellied Burgundy glasses at a restaurant, you absolutely do not need multiple wine glasses. In fact, it can be kind of nice to drink your wine out of tumblers and pretend that you’re at some casual Italian bistro, just for example.

5. Don’t mix your wine

Mix it up, I say! If you’re doing some daytime, poolside drinking, adding seltzer to your wine is a super-smart move: You can enjoy a little spritzer without getting drunk in the middle of the day. I also love Sprite or 7up + white wine, or Coke + red wine.

6. White wine should be cold

You know how we say you can chill your red wine? Well, it’s also true that you can drink your white wine at much warmer temperatures than you might think; you’ll get more flavor that way. Although, of course, if it gets too warm, feel free to put an ice cube in it.

7. Don’t drink red wine with your fish

Or white wine with your steak. I’m not going to lie: The idea of white wine with steak doesn’t really appeal to me, but if it’s your thing, you do you.

8. Champagne is for special occasions

Champagne goes with everything. It goes with oysters and caviar, but also fried chicken and pizza. Champagne and potato chips might be my very favorite high-low combo.

9. Don’t judge a wine bottle by its label

Do you do this? I do this. I mean, there are so many bottles of wine to choose from. Besides, whoever put that label on the bottle wanted it to say something to you. Whether it’s the fine print or the cute animal on the label, go ahead and judge.

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