Bottas was in fifth place when the safety car came out to allow Antonio Giovinazzi's crashed Sauber to be removed from the track.
But while weaving to get some heat into his tyres at low speed, the Finn spun onto the grass and then again attempting to return to the queue.
He lost seven places in the process and team boss Wolff, a close friend of Lewis Hamilton's new team-mate, knows it was a mistake that cannot be repeated.
Toto Wolff believes Valtteri Bottas must analyse and move on after his mistake
"Valtteri threw it away behind the safety car," Wolff said.
"It happens to the best.
"It was very slippery out there and he lost it. This is when the race was gone.
"He just needs to recover from that.
Chinese Grand Prix 2017 race results: Hamilton beats Vettel in Shanghai
Sun, April 9, 2017
Express Sport runs through the full classification for the 2017 Chinese Grand Prix
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Express Sport runs through the full 2017 Chinese Grand Prix race results
"It's the second race of the season, there are 18 more – analyse and forget it.
"You could see during the race that he had the pace.
"He was doing Lewis's lap times at various stages, but once you're losing so many positions and you're not in the leading pack anymore, and you have to recover mentally, that is very difficult.
Valtteri Bottas found himself back in the midfield after the spin
"He certainly has the character to recover from such a situation."
Bottas told his team over the radio: "Really disappointing, so sorry guys for the amateur mistake.
"I know it doesn't help but I will make it up in the next races."
Bottas finished sixth in the end, just 0.7 seconds behind Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen.
Valtteri Bottas was beaten by Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen by less than a second
It was the second time in China the Mercedes driver had been pipped by a rival in red having missed out on second place in qualifying to Sebastian Vettel by just a thousandth of a second – or six centimetres of track.
The tiny margins are indicative of how tight the battle between Ferrari and Mercedes is, but Wolff promises the Brackley outfit, who have won the last three F1 World Constructors' Championships, are relishing the challenge.
"In the end we are all racers and we like to battle it out," Wolff added.
"The last three years were an exception.
"It hasn't happened in Formula One before.
"Now this is the new era and we just have to get used to it.
"Lewis on his day is just in a different league. You could see that today he was without any mistakes.
"On a difficult day in difficult conditions, there is nobody else I'd like to have in the car."