Etiquette shmediquette! Just 17% of wine drinkers swirl and sniff, while 4 in 10 put ice in their glass!

NEW YORK — Are you drinking wine correctly? There’s a good chance you’re not! A new study finds eight in 10 people don’t follow traditional “wine etiquette.”

According to a recent survey of 2,000 U.S. respondents over 21, 67 percent believe there are right and wrong ways to drink wine. However, only 17 percent make sure to always swirl and sniff their drink. Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Woodbridge Wines, the survey also found that nearly three-fifths enjoy wine at least three days a week, with those over 65 drinking it more often than younger groups.

Mac and cheese… and wine?

wine habitsRegardless of age, seven in 10 consume wine more than any other type of alcohol during the holidays. Though wine is most often enjoyed with or around dinnertime, more than a quarter say that they usually drink wine with breakfast or brunch and 26 percent think Happy Hour should start before 5 p.m.

When asked about their favorite wine and food pairings, men prefer mac and cheese over other dishes (41%), while women opt for wings (34%). Unexpectedly, 62 percent of men and 50 percent of women also prefer wine over beer while watching sports.

You put WHAT in your wine?!

Wine-drinking habits also differ by region, as Northeasterners (54%) prefer to add ice cubes more than others. Meanwhile, South Easterners are most likely (41%) to drink wine without swirling or sniffing it. When it comes to where they drink, 43 percent enjoy wine in bed and 30 percent drink it while taking a bath. Drinking wine on the beach is another favorite among 42 percent of respondents.

Americans place more importance on where they drink wine (52%) than they do on what type of container they drink it out of (42%) or the quality and price of the wine (43%). When asked how much wine etiquette improves their drinking experience, only 22 percent think that traditional guidelines “greatly” enhance it.

wine habits“Just like everything in life, there are so many old-school, traditional rules in wine culture that people feel like they need to follow — swirling, sniffing, pairing,” says Serena Shrivastava, Brand Director for Woodbridge Wines, in a statement. “We encourage everyone to play by their own rules instead and leave any judgement behind.”

Three in four think the so-called “rules of wine” can be intimidating, which could explain why most don’t fully adhere to wine etiquette.

“We think there should only be one rule: enjoy wine your way — however, wherever, and whenever you want,” adds Shrivastava. “Wine is for more than fancy occasions and fancy glasses. Don’t be afraid to drop an ice cube in your wine glass at home, grab a can of wine instead of a beer at a tailgate, or pair a Cabernet with some delicious cheese fries at the ballpark. When you ‘wine your way,’ anything goes.”


  • Drinking white wine at room temperature instead of chilled (46%)
  • Holding a glass by the bowl rather than the stem (44%)
  • Adding ice to wine (43%)
  • Filling their glass to the top (42%)
  • Sniffing the cork (36%)
  • Tasting wine while wearing strongly scented perfume/aftershave (34%)
  • Drinking wines “out of order” (e.g. red before white, sweet before dry, etc.) (32%)
  • Drinking without looking, swirling, or sniffing (32%)
  • Gulping wine down quickly (25%)
  • Pairing wine with non-traditional foods (19%)

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