Let’s Bust Some of the Common Wine Myths

some common wine myths

29 Apr Let’s Bust Some of the Common Wine Myths

When it comes to wine collecting, wine tasting, uncorking wines, storing them or pairing them with different foods, you will find a lot of information floating around on the Internet. But not all of it is accurate and some pieces of traditional wine wisdom are nothing but myths. We just thought we should embark on a bit of wine myth busting:

Some Common Wine Myths

Red wine should only be served at room temperature

Sure, but this piece of wisdom must have originated in a region where the standard temperature was distinctly cooler than what it is in tropical regions across the world. The fact is that red wine is best served at 14-18°C (dependant on the grape variety). For instance, its best to serve your Cabernet Sauvignon at 18°C while a Chinon is best served at 14°C.

Thicker legs are indicative of a better wine

The “tears” which flow down a wine glass when you actually swirl the wine are referred to as the wine’s legs; and these aren’t an indicator of the quality of the wine. This phenomenon is typically a result of the alcohol evaporating at a much faster rate and its surface tension being less than that of water. The wine’s legs tend to get pushed-up into the glass when there is increased surface tension, and then quickly get pulled-down by gravity. Full bodied wines tend to have legs that drip slower.

Nothing is more perfect than the pairing of cheese and wine

This is probably one of the most widespread myths. Many cheeses that have a heavy taste and texture, actually hamper the tongue’s ability to fully-enjoy the balance & richness of a good vintage. It’s important to pair your wines and cheeses wisely and you should check some credible online wine forums to get more information about which pairings work best.

Since red wine has a higher sulphite content, it tends to cause more headaches, compared to white wine.

Sulphites (sulphur dioxide) are a commonly-used preservative in a number of foods and they don’t cause headaches (regardless of what the popular belief is). The fact is that our body produces around 1,000 mg of sulphites every day. The thing to keep in mind here is that if you suffer from asthma, sulphites might induce an allergic reaction.

Red wines have far less sulphites than any white wine, as red grape skins have a natural preservative quality. The low-alcohol whites are the ones that need more sulfite additives to prevent oxidation. The headaches that people talk about are largely caused by dehydration; and drinking wine in moderation helps prevent them.

Organic wines don’t have any sulphites

Since all wines are fermented, they all have sulphites (which are produced in this fermentation process). However most wineries add more sulphites to stabilise the wines and prevent oxidation. It’s just that organic wines don’t have these added sulphites.

Red wine has less calorific than sweet wine

Most people believe that sweet wine is more calorific than dry wine (which is non-sweet). While this may be true in the case of rich sweet wines such as Sauternes, it isn’t the case with the semi-sweet ones such as the Spätlese Riesling. Calories don’t come only from sugar; they come from alcohol too and so if you want wine with the lowest calories, opt for a low alcohol, dry wine.

These are just a few of the myths we just couldn’t resist busting. There are many more and maybe we will visit those in a later post. For any information about contemporary wine cellars and cellaring wine, call Signature Cellars at 02 9340 7515. Alternatively, simply use this contact form to connect with us and we will get back to you shortly.

Thanks for reading,
Neil Smallman
Signature Cellars
02 9340 7515

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