We investigated the photoluminescence properties of ZnO nanowires coated with Au, Ag, and Pt nanoparticles deposited by dc sputtering. A strong enhancement of the near-band-edge emission was observed in all metal-coated samples but also if the samples were treated with Ar plasma without any nanoparticle deposition. High-resolution photoluminescence spectroscopy revealed hydrogen-donor-bound-exciton emission in all samples indicating unintentional hydrogen incorporation. A shorter decay time of the near-band-edge emission was observed in all cases. The results indicate that unintentional hydrogen incorporation plays a dominant role when metal deposition is performed by sputtering.