Wine Disasters

Another Typical Wine Disaster

If you drink wine then you no doubt have spilled wine. Accidental spills, glass breakage, bad bottles it’s happened to us all. Find out about the hosts worst experiences – they have had plenty.

Contest: In the comments below tell us about your worst wine disaster. The best story selected will wine a bottle of Alban Vineyards, 2002 Lorraine, one of the central coasts finest Syrahs. The contest expired on 5/14/2005.

Sponsor: Your best solution for red wine stain removal: Wine Away

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Show #22
(18:13 min 8 MB)

29 Responses to “Wine Disasters”

  1. 1 Jeff Fishman May 3rd, 2005 at 5:24 am

    The best way to remove red wine stains (even on white carpet) is to spill white wine directly on the red stain. Then dab (don’t ru) the stain with a damp towel.

    I have an expensive oriental rug and this method worked perfectly

  2. 2 Mark Johnson May 3rd, 2005 at 5:53 am

    Jeff, The only problem with that is you must open another bottle of wine (white). Seems like a waste. Why not just keep a bottle of stain remover like wine away around and use that, it is really inexpensive. I have many times and it works great.


  3. 3 Jay Selman May 3rd, 2005 at 8:33 am

    I do not want to sound like a shill for our sponsor Wine Away, but I must say the stuff works great. Its like some kind of Voodoo trick. I have no idea of the science behind the Wine Away, but as long as it keeps me out of trouble with my wife, I will continue to use it.


  4. 4 Jeff Fishman May 3rd, 2005 at 4:53 pm


    I keep a cheap bottle of white wine – say 3.99 a bottle. I’m not saying to open your best Sancerre, Muscadet or Chard. But – use a cheapo white wine that is in the loser’s bin at the wine store.

    I’m telling it works wonders


  5. 5 Blake Olson May 3rd, 2005 at 5:28 pm

    Several years ago, I got a bottle of superb Champagne as a gift for sales excellence. (I later valued it at about $250.)
    I had moved to my mother’s farm to take care of her in her later years but kept up a very hectic sales schedules staying out for several days at at time.
    My mother had been messed up in an operation and had gone from a brilliant woman who read about a book a day to a fairly affable dolt. It took her 15-20 minutes to get through a paragraph and it frustrated her terribly.
    She had a buddy next door who came over every day and they drank a few beers and had a good time.
    One day they had no beer handy and thought the Champagne was fair game.
    I did happen to come home that day and managed to get a taste of it. It was definitely a great Champagne.
    I expressed my exasperation and she said, “Well, it did taste pretty good.”

  6. 6 Jeff May 3rd, 2005 at 9:12 pm

    My wine disaster occurred on my wedding day. Long story short, the best
    man and I were running late having had a late night the evening before.
    We raced home across the city (Toronto) and suddenly encountered a great
    deal of traffic. No big deal, my best man quickly hit the breaks.

    Unfortunately the unopened bottles of wine from the rehearsal dinner
    were in the back seat of my car. You guessed it, red wine and a light
    interior. Add to that a humid summer and a three week honeymoon in
    Europe and it was like reliving the experience when I finally had the
    chance to get it cleaned.

    Hope you had a laugh; keep up the qreat shows!


  7. 7 J F Grossen May 3rd, 2005 at 9:14 pm

    My wife and I returned to Hanna Winery in Alexander Valley the year
    after we were married (august 21, 1999) there to reminice and have a
    couple of glasses of their delicious Merlot. She was wearing a nice
    white sundress (of course). We bellied up to the tasting bar. As they
    were pouring the first glasses I raised my hands in excitement of
    telling the story of our wedding in this exact space. In my enthusiasm I
    knocked over BOTH half-full glasses onto my wife. Her dress went quickly
    from white to red. Funny thing…and this is in no way a cheap
    ploy…our hostess jumped from behind the bar with an industrial size
    bottle of wineaway and began spraying her down. It was basically like
    taking a shower of wineaway.

    Once the dress turned back to white we went on our merry way down the road to a few more stops (and glasses).

    I promised not to be so animated in my storytelling.

  8. 8 Tim Elliot May 3rd, 2005 at 9:16 pm

    Hey Guys,

    Just want to drop you a quick note to say that your “wine disasters”
    show is great! It made part of my morning commute fly by and got my day
    off to a great start. I’ve also had my share of broken glasses, dropped
    bottles and embarrassing moments in restaurants, but they pale in
    comparison with what you where talking about. Jay’s story about the
    Tokaj was a classic, but the “winner” has to be Brian with his myriad of
    disasters 😉 Looking forward to hearing what the listeners have to
    add… see you next month; looks like I might have June 18 open for
    dinner if you are free.


    Tim Elliott

  9. 9 Jim May 4th, 2005 at 2:05 pm

    I was in London attending an early music event, and was delighted to find that I was staying at a magnificient house/museum which overlooked the American Embassy. I thought it would be fun to drink a few American wines while in London, and had brought some fantastic California Cabs as well as a 1988 Henriot Champagne (fantastic). The disaster occured after the plumber arrived. In chasing pipes, he discovered the long lost wine drawer filled with old bordeaux. The guest said “enjoy” (she likes white) and so I did.
    Sadly,the double decker bus full of protesters startled me as it roared by the window, and most of my glass of 68 Chateau Margaux ended on the white rug. We cleaned the antique rug and linens with sencerre, and cracked another split. Perhaps I should use a wine glass sippy cup when protesters loom. Cheers, Jim

  10. 10 Jim May 4th, 2005 at 2:33 pm

    No,no really. It was the owner who said “enjoy”, and the guest did.Really! Lovely experience, still feel bad about the rug….and the margaux.
    Cheers, Jim

  11. 11 Doug May 5th, 2005 at 6:16 am

    I would have to say that I am the wine disaster and who it affects, is my wife. If she had the choice she would bath me in Wine Away. I don’t know what it is, maybe a broken lip but I have wine stains on every tee-shirt, polo, pants that I own it seems. My wonderful wife has got to the point that she makes sure that I am wearing the proper clothing when drinking wine. If she sees me with my work clothes on sipping some great juice she will immediately stop me and tell me to go change into something appropriate, and like a discouraged dog I bow my head and go directly to the bedroom to change into my “wine drinking attire”. I’ve looked into some cosmetic surgery to correct his problem but have failed to find a solution. I love my wife and she is right most of the time…okay, all of the time, so I just need to deal with the fact that I am a slob. So if you ever see a guy at a tasting or a wine event dressed in a smock, it will most likely be me.

    I guess it’s a good thing that I can look at my clothing and tell you what type or vintage a particular wine stain is, now that’s talent.

  12. 12 Kim Adams May 5th, 2005 at 1:49 pm

    Our very good friend, Scott, “The Geek” came over for a tasting of 93 Cabs a few years back. Scott knows his way around computers, software and such, hence, “The Geek” nickname. He’s also not one known for his swirlatude ability, and has spilled something on nearly every visit, hence, “The Geek” nickname. I nonetheless gave him a nice size pour in a Bourdeaux glass and invited him into the back computer room to look at some web sites. We had recently purchased a nice beige carpet for that room and knowing that Scott can’t swirl I should have insisted that he put the glass down while we were standing there chatting it up. Sure enough, he attempted a swirl and the wine gushed forth out of his glass and splashed what looked like hundreds of red dots all over the new carpet. “Scott!” I bellowed. “Look what you’ve done!” He calmly
    replied, “Don’t worry Kim. It’ll clean up in Photoshop.” All I could do at that point was laugh and give him a hug. I then rushed to the kitchen and got a rag and a pail of cold water. I found myself on my hands and knees over the next hour dabbing up every single dot of wine. I got it all out – with water and a lot of elbow grease. Now, we always have a spray bottle of Wine Away at the ready when Scott comes over.

  13. 13 Graham Johnson May 7th, 2005 at 10:51 pm

    My wife and I had been travelling in France in 1988. At the end of a long 3 months we found ourselves in the south of France and purchased an expensive bottle of Chateauneuf du Pape. We nurtured this bottle back to Paris, boarded the long flight home to Australia (23 hours)., got through Customs, caught a taxi home then…..dropped the bottle on the front door step.

    Graham Johnson
    Melbourne Australia

  14. 14 Jay Selman May 8th, 2005 at 5:05 am

    I feel your pain

  15. 15 Paul Deaver May 9th, 2005 at 7:10 am

    I have been collecting wine since the late 1980s. About a year ago, I moved my best bottles into new-and-improved cool storage — a refurbished Sub-Zero refrigerator made just for that. I had reds going back to the late 1970s, numerous bottles of Champagne and others, all laying nicely in the racks.

    I was overseas so I don’t know how it happened… but… the door was left propped open about an inch. The Sub-Zero shut off its fans, and the 300 Watt light bulbs began cooking the contents. The corks pushed out of every bottle of wine on the top shelves. Towards the bottom, a Champagne bottle exploded, taking out everything else on that rack. When my wife found it, the bottles were too hot to touch, and the basement smelled like a cheap French cafe.

    That day, I lost over 30 bottles of my best wine. (You don’t want to know the street value.)


  16. 16 Rhett May 9th, 2005 at 11:04 am

    I discovered garperadio today. Oddly enough I had a wine disaster on mothers day yesterday. My first mistake was overfilling a large glass of cabernet. I sat on the couch with my legs propped up on an ottoman. My fiancé was lying on the couch with her head in my lap asleep. Yes, you have probably just guessed that I feel asleep as well with the overfilled wine glass perched on my chest. I’m not sure how long I was asleep, but it took about 1 second to wake up. The wine glass tipped over right on top of my fiancés head. And yes women can start yelling from a dead sleep. Anyway, she recovered, the couch was not so lucky and I was able to save a small sip.

  17. 17 Tony Ricciardi May 9th, 2005 at 3:17 pm

    I was at an Australian Day Event in Manhattan where hundreds of Aussie wineries were pouring their wares for a room of over 2,000 guests. After nearly 3 hours of tasting (not always spitting), I found my way to the Penfolds Table. My friend who accompanied me to the tasting was a wine novice so I wanted him to taste the wonderful bin 707 Cab from penfolds. As we fought our way through the crowd at the penfolds table, I finally came upon a beautiful woman who worked for the winery. She began pouring the rawsons creek shiraz. As we made our way through the penfolds lineup i became more charming as she continued filling our glasses again and again.

    After about 15 minutes I had clearly had enough to drink and I kissed her hand and thanked her for her generous pours of 707 etc. and her conversation about penfolds and shiraz in general. With that, she motioned that we stay right where we were she had something special for us to try. With that, she reaches into a cooler bag and pulls out a bottle of 1993 Grange. It was obviously being poured secretly for a select few. Honored, I asked told her again how special this evening had been and how this was the icing on the cake. With that she hands me her card and says that if we’re interested in purchasing larger quantities to call her and she can connect us with a local distributor. As she hands me the card, it slips from my hand and hits the floor. I bend down to get it and as I rise up from the floor I don’t realize that I’m partially under the table where the wines were being poured. I rise quickly, glass still in hand, and my shoulder clips the edge of the first Penfolds table, tipping it over and destroying about 15 bottles including the Grange. My new “friend” is covered in Shiraz. All 2,000 guests looked at me at the same time in disbelief.

    I raise my glass make a toast to Penfolds and walk away.

  18. 18 Michael in Irvine May 9th, 2005 at 4:02 pm

    My wine disaster occurred when my wife and I went to some friends house for a nice dinner. I was every excited to pull out some nice wine to share over dinner…a white and a red. As they opened the door to welcome us in to their beautiful (and very white) home, I lifted the bottles to show off my selection only to clink the bottoms together lightly. I must of hit a soft spot on the bottle of red wine because the bottom of the bottle simply dropped off and red wine poured all over their entryway. I was left standing there with a bottle of white and an emptied bottle of red with the bottom missing! I spent the next hour trying to clean the wine up. It was one of the more embarrasing moments of my life.

  19. 19 Guy May 11th, 2005 at 8:09 pm

    My wine disaster, or shall I call it disasters occurred all with 4 weeks this past February. Before going over to the relatives for dinner one evening my wife was enjoying a glass of Shiraz. I attempted to put her glass down on the end table and missed the coaster. It tipped over dripping down the white living room wall, reminding me of a horror movie. What a mess. A week later the second wine disaster. After a wonderful day of skiing we were invited to a friends condo for happy hour. My first and only glass that evening was nice merlot. It was only after a few sips when my animated moving hands sent the glass flying onto the white carpet. Why did it have to be white? I was mortified that the rental condo’s carpet was ruined! How much was that credit card deposit? We did manage to get it out after a quick run to the grocery store for some stain remover. My third and I hope final disaster occurred 2 weeks later. Upon returning from a afternoon of cross country skiing to a friends winter cabin home we enjoyed a nice glass of Pinot Noir. Since my previous wine disasters I would only drink the wine in the kitchen. I didn’t want to take a chance spilling on their carpet. Soon thereafter, we all gathered around the dining room table for dinner. Then it happened again. A good friends reach sent my wife’s just filled glass of Pinot onto the table cloth, me and the white upholstered chair. The host was very gracious. I spent the next 20 minutes trying to clean the wine out of the chair. Everyone suggested I give up drinking red wine. I few weeks later I received a “gift”. A Disney sippy cup. No need to give up drinking red wine.


  20. 20 Matt B. May 12th, 2005 at 12:20 pm

    While this isn’t exactly a wine disaster, sparkling wine was involved in the disaster.

    While attending my cousin’s wedding in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, we had the stereotypical “uncle” who really isn’t related to anyone by blood, but somehow tied himself to the family years ago decide that yet another toast was in order. Please note that the majority of the folks at this wedding were mass market swill beer people and think that the proper way to open champagne or sparkling wine is to allow the cork to shoot out over the crowd and let the wine fountain out of the bottle.

    Needless to say, the cork shot from the bottle and hit one of the three supports from the tiered wedding cake between the first and second tier. The top tier of the cake tilted over, slid onto the second tier and fell to the table. Thus results much wailing and gnashing of teeth from the bride, her sister who made the cake, and the bride’s mother.

    Matt B.

  21. 21 Larry May 13th, 2005 at 12:20 pm

    This story is not my own but is still a funny one at that.

    My father-in-law is the unfortunate character in this story. He was eating dinner with the family and reached for one of the excessively appointed condiments layed out by my mother-in-law and spilled his wine all over the table. To help clear the table to make it easier to clean the table decided that placing his dinner plate on his chair would be a good idea. While cleaning the spilt wine he knocked his water all over as well. His ire growing ever higher he began cleaning the water-wine flood on the table. Once done with his clean up he returned to the table to finish his meal forgetting that his dinner plate was on the chair. He sat right down on his dinner. Needless to say that was the end of dinner that night.

  22. 22 Steve May 14th, 2005 at 8:51 pm

    Holy Schmoly…good luck to you guys picking the best one here. Better let Brian cast the decision making vote since he is an expert.

    To the Grape Radio listeners…keep an ear out for the occasional toast Brian lays down to the audience. When you here the sound of crystal meeting microphone…that’s our man!

  23. 23 Tanya Jun 21st, 2005 at 2:28 pm

    Oh do I have a wine disaster for you. ……
    All stressed out before I was to walk down the isle and say I do, my brides maids and my self decided to do a toast being so stressed out and shaking, I spelt the glass of red wine down my wedding gown. In tears I walked down the isle. (Needless to say the marriage didn’t last)


  24. 24 Jay Selman Jun 21st, 2005 at 3:31 pm

    The husband may have been lousy, but more important, how was the wine?

  25. 25 jo Aug 31st, 2005 at 7:28 pm

    Here’s my dessert wine disaster. It all starts with a very tall shelf and a very humble heighted shopper (myself). It has become custom to stock the most expensive, less movable bottles toward the top shelves at one of my local wine stores. On one of my trips to the dessert wine shelves, I was enticed by the madness of Canadian icewine and felt compelled to go aye instead of QmP or QbA. In some great marketing ploy, the wine was packaged in a cardboard cylinder with a metal cap on the bottom and top. Having a do-it-yourself attitude, I reached up and carefully turned the cylinder into my grasp.

    “Hey, whatcha got there?” My friendly wine merchant walked into the moment that would spill gold into the floor tile.

    I twisted in a start and the cylinder angled back in my hand and I heard a “thunk” as the bottle within clunked into and pushed out the metal cap. No cap = no containment, so the wine feel. But it is not this bottle that broke: it was an open display case positioned just of to the side of the shevling. The icewine fell into an open case of Nerge Iced Cider and knocked eight of nine bottles to the floor. The eight that hit the floor broke. The icewine sat innocently askew against the ninth unbroken bottle of Nerge.

    My wine merchant looked at the mess, looked at me, then said, “I can’t get that to sell anyway.”

  26. 26 Steve Oct 15th, 2006 at 1:04 pm

    Love these stories…most people handle them with a great attitude.

  27. 27 james Nov 18th, 2006 at 2:28 pm

    White wine, worked a trick, in laws did not notice!

  28. 28 John Moran Apr 7th, 2008 at 7:09 am

    I had a bottle of champagne explode – quite literally – in the middle of the night last night. It was sitting on the kitchen table, where I had placed it the previous morning. I awoke to a loud bang and the sound of water (wine) cascading off the kitchen table. Shards of glass had been shot in all directions for multiple meters. The base of the bottle, its sides now jagged, was left sitting in the middle of the table. The neck, with cork intact, was sitting by the door, across the room.

    The room was probably 65 degrees and the bottle had been in my posession for almost four months.

  29. 29 Tia G Aug 5th, 2008 at 8:30 am

    My wine disaster happened sunday nite. A nice bottle of french red wine was in a wine rack on top of my kitchen cabinets. I was in the kitchen, standing at the sink. Took a couple steps back towards the stove and from out of nowhere, there was an explosion! It took a couple seconds to realize what had happened and the red stuff all over me and my kitchen wasn’t blood but wine. The largest part of the bottle that is left is the top w/ the seal and cork in tact. The house wasn’t warm, the other bottles in the wine rack actually seemed cool…

    it took awhile to get all the glass and wine cleaned up and still finding glass and wine splashed in places that i missed but that’s okay. i was very lucky not to have been cut or stabbed by flying glass!

    The bottle was maybe 7 or 8 years old and I haven’t touched that rack in a couple of months. It was just very weird! I had heard about bottles of champagne exploding but not a bottle of wine. Be aware.. it happens!

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