10 Rules for Drinking Wine That You Don't Need to Follow

Get rid of the rules for drinking wine and throw out those tasting notes!


Chances are there are potential wine lovers out there stuck in a beer world because they feel intimidated by all the pomp and ceremony of wine drinking. 

I mean, why even bother asking for a glass when you're not sure where to start on the menu's wine list. What's worse is wandering down the massive wine aisles at most grocers, lost in confusion, not knowing how to tell a good bottle from a bad one.

If you're one of these people who aren't sure how to detect how good or bad wine tastes like so many of us are, you don't need to feel embarrassed. Wine drinking should be fun and barrier-free. The most important of the rules for drinking wine you follow is that at the heart of this lustrous alcoholic beverage there are no rules. 

Life is more fun when you've had enough wine that you're laughing at the 17 memes only wine lovers will truly understand. So drink up and make sure not to follow any of these rules!

Expensive bottles are better, and cheap bottles suck.

So not true. There are no rules for drinking wine, especially based off the price. Buying wine is not that cut and dried. Purchasing a more expensive bottle of wine on the shelf for the next dinner party may end up not impressing the host at all. Just because the wine is more expensive doesn't always guarantee a wonderful wine drinking experience at your favorite wine bar.

One reason for this is that wine is pretty subjective. What may be a delectable wine to one person may taste too pungent to the next. A more expensive wine could be high priced because it has a particularly rare flavor profile. 

Your best bet, instead, is to choose a wine for your next dinner party invitation based off of other people's opinions or online reviews. A better bet still, is to ask the wine department manager at finer stores.

Likewise, just because a bottle is inexpensive, doesn't mean that bottle sucks. There are and will always be some pretty tasty wines available at moderate prices no matter where you shop. Again, the best way to find out what's a good buy is by asking around and reading straightforward reviews by fellow wine drinkers.

This is one of the rules for drinking wine your budget will be happy you break.

Avoid screw capped wine.

Actually, the opposite is true. Corks are not the best way to  seal a bottle anymore, even though it prevails as the traditional method. Being screw capped guarantees the best preservation of the wine inside. 

Because corks are porous, over time they let in oxidation. Screw caps do no such thing. This doesn't mean avoid corked wine either. Usually most corked wine won't go bad because of its sealing method. But, you don't need to avoid screw top wine, either. And if anyone turns their nose up at you when you crack it open and drink your wine, you can educate them on the efficiency of screw top wine. 

Special Glasses for Special Wine

Silliness, I tell you! It may be that one type of glass is better for letting the tannins of red wine present themselves, for example. But that doesn't mean drinking out of another type of glass is forbidden. 

Most people don't have nearly enough room for the 12 + different types of wine glasses available for your next bordeaux, burgundy, cabernet, pinot noir, shiraz, zinfandel, sauvignon blanc, riesling, baked chardonnay, champagne, rose, or port. 

You can just as easily drink red wine, or white wine, or champagne, for that matter, out of a solo cup, a crystal goblet, or a juice glass. It really doesn't matter. Grab what's on hand and enjoy your next glass of wine in whatever container you see fit. 

Do not chill the wine...Wait, chill the wine!

Traditional wine rules dictate that red wines should be served at between 62 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit, while white wines should be served at 49 to 55 degrees. Why? So the full flavor profile of the wine can be tasted thanks to being poured at the optimal temperature. 

But the reality is you don't have to stick to hard and fast rules about what wine needs to be chilled and what wine needs to be at room temperature. Your place isn't one of the best rooftop bars in NYC; no one's going to judge you! The Earth will not crack in two just because you don't follow temperature rules.  

Sure, there may be a particular temp that the flavor profile is experienced the fullest at, but that doesn't mean that you can't chill a bottle of red or drink a bottle of white at room temperature. 

Heck, you can even throw an ice cube in it if you need to cool it down in a pinch. Just make sure you drink it before that ice melts and ruins your wine experience. 

Wine must be properly paired with food.

I've always heard that certain wines go with certain foods, and that there is a great art to food and wine pairings. I see some sense in that, of course. After all, suggesting a dry white wine goes great with a tart dressing so as not to overwhelm the palate is great advice. Delicate wines such as a Pinot Grigio may go best with appetizers or another light fare. Makes perfect sense! 

An education in sparkling wine and food pairing can't hurt, but if you're just hankering for a Rosé with a slab of medium rare red meat or a Chardonnay while inhaling a box of chocolates, go for it! Don't worry about the food pairings. If your dinner guest brought a bottle of wine they're dying to have you try, don't worry about whether it goes with the meal. Pop that baby open and enjoy the bottle with your guests!


Good wine is only available at stores with wooden floors.

You know what I'm talking about... those stores that have a special wine section carved out complete with its own shmoozy decor. Don't get me wrong, I'll be the first person to pick out a bottle or two off the shelf. 

But, truth be told, you can find good wine at the local grocery store, the warehouse store, and, yes, even the convenience store on the corner. You can even learn how to make wine in an instant pot! What's really important is not where you purchased the wine. What's important is that you and/or friends enjoy it and you feel good about the price you paid for it. 

Box wine is for boozers on a budget.

Wrong again! Believe it or not, there are actually some pretty decent boxed and canned wines out there. No joke. While you may choose a bottle over the box most days, there are times when a box of wine totally makes sense. If you're headed to the beach, or going camping, a box or several cans of wine will take a tumble and will be less likely to break. 

Or, if your favorite wine just happens to come in a box that sits on the fridge shelf, then drink with pride! Boxes or cans of wine are like the Pabst Blue Ribbon of vino. PBR has made quite the comeback thanks to people who just don't care what others think. Now it's time to do your part too, and bring the box back!

The only wine worth drinking is from France or California.

While France is one of the most famous wine growing regions in the world, with California coming in at a close second since the 1970's any geographic location in the world that has all the right components for growing wine can result in great bottle worth drinking. 

The best wines come from areas with mild winters and summers that are warm and dry. They can be grown in a variety of soils from sand to clay, and come in many different varietals that are more conducive to some growing regions than others. 

Champagne is only for special occasions.

This is one of those rules for drinking wine that makes the least sense. Champagne, or sparkling wine, never needs to be reserved for a specific special occasion. Although you may want to save the really good stuff for special moments, you can enjoy it whenever you want, whether that be in the evening after dinner, during dinner, or in the middle of the day. You can treat it just like wine, and the price of champagne can range just as widely as wine does. 

Fruit wine is not real wine.

Of course, it is. Just because it's made from another fruit instead of grapes doesn't mean it can't be called wine. The fermentation is there just like what you'd find with regular wine. 

Fruit wine tends to be sweeter, of course, but some traditional wines can be quite sweet, too. A nice balance can be found in fruit-infused wines that balance traditional grape wine with a component of fermented fruit. 

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10 Rules for Drinking Wine That You Don't Need to Follow
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