Spurs took a first-half lead through a fantastic Harry Kane strike but could not kick on as they did in thumping wins over Everton and Bournemouth in recent matches.
Instead they were stunned by a second-half revival from Wolves, with Willy Boly, Raul Jimenez and Helder Costa all on target for the visitors.
The result, which ends a five-match winning run in the league, deals a blow to Spurs' title hopes, with Pochettino's side having climbed above Manchester City into second with their 5-0 hammering of Bournemouth on Boxing Day.
"We did not dominate the ball in the second half," said Pochettino. "We were wrong in the way we tried to play, too much long ball and our energy dropped in the second half.
"It was difficult to come back into the game after their equaliser. But that is football.
"We have had a very good run in the last few weeks and to keep that level is difficult.
"We tried to play a little more in the second half, but we were too direct and I think we started to pay for the effort in the other games.
"We are not machines. We need to understand that we cannot get ourselves in this situation.
"I think we used the ball in the wrong way and allowed them to create chances on the transitions."
Spurs will now hope that Liverpool and City drop points when they play later this weekend against Arsenal and Southampton respectively. However should their closets rivals pick up three points apiece, they could trail Liverpool by nine points and drop to third place.
Next up for Spurs they travel to Cardiff on New Year’s Day before facing Tranmere Rovers the following weekend.
As for Wolves they host Crystal Palace on Wednesday. Victory against Tottenham moved the West Midlands side up to seventh in the table.