Wine Myths Debunked


How many of you have heard some wine myths? I’m not talking about Dionysus the Greek God of wine. A wine myth is a general rule of thumb that wine aficionados are constantly talking about. Examples of these are red wine with red meat, white wine with fish, the heavier the bottle the better the wine, and that aged wines need decanting etc… I will clarify some of those myths and hopefully you can learn something new and interesting. Afterall, that is the goal here at Cantinetta Vintners…

1) The bigger the bubbles in a sparkling wine, the better the wine: Actually, the finer the bubbles in a sparkling wine, the finer the product. Think fine bubbles, fine wine. And champagne flutes have such a shape that glorifies these fine bubbles. Of course, your nose fits better in a white wine glass, so your smell receptors do better in this style of glass. It all depends what you like. Do not swirl sparkling wine in your glass, you’ll lose the effervescence in a dime… If you are not a fan of bubbles, try a wine that is semi-bubbly made with fewer bars of pressure… Ask your local wine merchant!

2) A heavier glass bottle means that a wine is superior: This is not true at all and is a more “old school” way of thinking. The heavier and more impressive the bottle, the bigger the winemakers ego. Some wine logistic companies charge by weight… The bottom line in business is profit, so you may actually be paying more at the wine shop because middlemen have to charge for their expenses.

3) Red with meat, white with fish: Again, this is not true. Matching wine and food is more about looking at the intensity, or the amount of flavors in a dish than it is about going for a red or white wine. A seared tuna steak goes very well with a light Pinot Noir. Light, reddish meat (seared tuna) with a light bodied red wine. If a French meat dish uses creme fraiche (a white sauce), it may very well go with a white wine. Pairing is not a science… A dish with a lot of herbs goes very well for example with a New Zealand Sauv. Blanc because of the grassy, herbal notes in the wine. And again, remember, tastes are very different depending on a person’s palate. There is no right or wrong!

4) It is best to decant an old wine: Again, no! I would rather decant a younger, tighter wine that has not fully opened up it’s bouquet. Older wines are very fragile because remember, wine has live yeast that feed on sugar and produce alcohol. Sometimes, using a decanter is like giving a wine a punch in the face because too much action can actually harm a wine and the yeast.

5) Ice cubes in your wine: What! Are you nuts? There is no law in any rule book in any country that says the “wine police” will arrest you in a dark cell for life. So don’t fret. Here’s a small tip if you like ice in your wine. Add some of that wine into your ice tray and freeze it. When these frozen wine cubes are inserted into your wine, they will melt wine into your wine, not water into your wine like normal ice cubes made with water. And great with sangria…

I hope this has been helpful and that your next wine experience is more enjoyable… Do what makes you happy! Wine is to be enjoyed with good company in a relaxed ambiance. It is not meant to be a rule book that ruins the fun. Cin Cin!

Categories: Wine Wisdom

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