Avoid Common Wine Myths
Below are popular wine beliefs and practices. But how many and which ones are true?
1. Does wine go well with cheese?
Contrary to common practice, great wines should not be accompanied by cheese. Cheese's heavy texture and taste rid the tongue of its ability to fully enjoy the richness and balance of a good wine. When the wine is bad, however, cheese is your great friend. It will make your wine taste better!
2. Vintage wine means expensive wine?
Vintage wine is a wine with a “birth year”. The term has been commonly misused to describe expensive wine. When in reality, most non-sparkling wines are vintage wines.
3. Slow-dripping wine legs indicate a better quality wine?
The wine's legs (the "tears" that flow down on wine glass when you swirl) indicate the full-body of the wine but given no indication of the wine's quality. Fuller-bodied wines generally have slower dripping legs.
4. Letting a bottle of uncorked wine sit for an hour can make the wine taste better?
Uncorking a bottle of wine and letting it sit for an hour is surely the worst way to treat yourself and your wine. Not only can you not drink the wine for an hour, the aerating method is ineffective. The narrow bottleneck simply prevents air from opening up the wine.
5. France is the country that produces the most wine?
Italy though smaller in size than France and California is the world’s largest wine producing country. With 20 wine regions stretching from its north to south end, Italy also offers the most variety of wines. Only when measuring wine production by revenue will France rise to the top!
6. Cabernet Sauvignon is the most planted grape?
“Cab” might be the most well-known type of red but definitely not the most planted grape. There are more merlot grapes planted in the world than any other red or white grapes.
7. Wine tastes much better with age?
This is true for premium, high-quality wines, but not true for many wines. As a general rule of thumb: Inexpensive, dry white wines should be consumed within one to three years of its production year. Inexpensive red wines should be consumed in the first 1 to 2 years. Mid-priced reds ($20 +) can be kept 3-5 years after production year. Better reds ($30 +) can last 5-8 years.
8. Red wine causes more headaches than white because of its higher sulfites content?
Contrary to popular beliefs, sulfites (or sulfur dioxide) do not cause headaches. Our bodies produce sulfites each day. Sulfites can also be found as a preservative in many common daily foods. However to those with asthmatic issues, sulfites can induce an allergic reaction. Red wines have less added sulfites than white wines as their grape skins have natural preservative ability. Cheap, low-alcohol white wines require more sulfites to prevent oxidation.
9. Storing an unfinished bottle of wine in the fridge is an effective way to preserve it?
While great for white reds, putting intense red wines into the fridge will tone down its flavor and acidity. Even after warming, the wine will not taste the same.