It's time to debunk some of the most persistent myths in the wine world! With it's long history there are plenty for sure. The following 5 are the ones we though most useful to know.
Share with us other myths about wine you find curious, interesting or funny!
1. “Red wine has to be served at room temperature”
As most myths that keep persisting over time this one too has a base in something true. As this rule was set in times when people probably didn’t heat their flats to above 20 degree but room temperature was between 16-18 degree. And that is the right temperature for full bodied red wines. Lighter reds are actually better served a bit cooler still. And as with every rule like this it’s good to break it and try out what you prefer for your favorite wine! The only rule you should never break is to follow what you like best!
2. “All wine gets better with age”
Absolutely not! Most wines are actually better to be drunk young. As a rule of thumb you can say that wines that strive for their fresh and fruity aromas should be drunk early since those aromas fade over time. While wines that have complex aromas from wine making techniques like barrel aging can develop further their earthy, smoky, chocolaty, etc. aromas. But not all of those wines having past a wood barrel are great to age! They need quite some tannins and complexity of aromas to smoothen out over time. Usually when you buy a wine that is already some years old when it’s sold this can be a sign that it might develop in an interesting way with age. Examples are usually full bodied red wines with complex flavours from places like Bordeaux in France, Barolo in Italy or Rioja in Spain.
3. “Champagne has to be served in a flute”
We are all used to toast with a flute of sparkling wine in hand. But this is actually not great for the aromas of great Champagnes! The narrow flute doesn´t allow the aromas to disperse within the glass and takes away this great brioche note a Champagne or other sparkling wine might have to offer! So here is the good news: Safe money on flute glasses, use your white wine glasses instead and enjoy sparkling wine more! Not convinced? Just try it out and let us know what you think.
4. “Blended wines are inferior to the ones from pure varieties”
This myth probably comes from the thought that a blended wine is a mix of grapes that can’t stand alone. However mixing varieties that combine different nice characteristics, for example of different fruit flavours, can create great wines. So it’s not true that blends are inferior to pure variety wines. What is true is that the combination of grapes allows for more room to model the style of the wine, especially if there are several varieties at work. Likewise blending different varieties can be used to keep a style of wine persistent over different vintages where weather and other influences would otherwise create contrasting results. So long story short, blends are not inferior at all but might require you to look more into the details to tell what style of wine hides behind a label.
5. “Bottles sealed with a cork are better than those with a screw-cap”
We all connect drinking wine with the ritual of opening a bottle with a corkscrew. It’s so familiar that we make a connection with the quality of a wine. Maybe also because cork is usually more expensive than a screw-cap for the winemaker. But all kinds of studies and tests clearly show that it’s not better. Screw caps are a modern way to close a bottle that actually allows for less exchange with air than a cork. Especially on nice fresh young white wines this preserves their fruitiness better! And even red wines made for ageing do so more slowly and constantly under a screw-cap. So don’t judge wines by screw cap or cork but by their ability to wow you!