Over 40% Of Wine Drinkers In The US Commit This Faux Pas

You may have heard that you shouldn't hold a wine glass by the stem, or that you should only pair white wine with fish. If you want to enjoy your wine to its fullest, wine etiquette is important. But there is one rule that 43% of wine drinkers fail to follow, and that's adding ice to their wine. Study Finds reports that committing this faux pas is actually a regional habit, and those living in the Northeast drink their wine with ice more than any other part of the country.

Northeastern wine drinkers are unfortunately doing themselves a disservice, because according to Vinepair, ice can ruin the quality of a good wine. The obvious reason for this is that as ice melts, it waters down the wine — but there's more to it than that. Ice dilutes the subtle flavors and mutes the aroma of wine while thinning out its overall consistency. As a result, the wine loses its complexity. Then there's the temperature. Wine is meant to be consumed when it's between 45 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. When the temperature isn't controlled, neither is the structure of the wine.

Is there ever a time you should put ice in wine?

While you generally should avoid adding ice to wine, there are a few exceptions to this rule, the main one being when it's way too warm to be enjoyably consumed. If you're drinking rosé poolside or winding down with a glass of red by the fireplace, chances are your wine will end up exceeding the ideal 45 to 65 degrees. In this case, Bon Appétit says it's completely acceptable to add an ice cube to regulate the temperature if you don't want to bother sticking it in the fridge (or don't want to wait for your wine to chill).

Since ice alters flavor along with temperature, if the wine tastes either cheap or overly sweet, an ice cube can trick your taste buds into making it taste better. On the other hand, some types of wines aren't quite as susceptible to the effects of ice, including Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and rosé. Vinepair explains that any wine with a bright or crisp flavor profile retains acidity even when diluted, so a little ice won't hurt. Aside from these exceptions, however, it's best to just avoid putting ice in your wine altogether.