The Top 5 Myths About Wine

You know what they say about people who assume?

Since this is a family blog, we won’t spell out the entire homily. But we will tell you that the same conclusion applies to a good deal of “wine wisdom” that’s floating around out there.

We refer to these nuggets of misinformation as wine myths. Here are five of them, presented countdown style…

5. Red wine should never be chilled.

Countless books have told us that red wine should be served at “room temperature,” but that leaves a good deal of, uh, room for error because “room temperature” can vary widely from region to region and household to household.

We’re not suggesting that you should chill down a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, but placing it in the refrigerator for a half-hour before serving won’t hurt it at all.

4. White wines don’t age well.

In fact, some do. Examples of age-worthy whites include dry Riesling, Chenin Blanc, Gruner Veltliner, some White Burgundy and most Sauternes.

3. Filtering is bad for wine.

Many winemakers take a pass on the filtration process, claiming that it robs wine of some of its flavor. While that may be true, the process also eliminates any impurities and contributes clarity to the finished product.

Is filtration a necessary step? No. Is it a bad thing? No.

2. A cork is the only good way to seal a bottle of wine.

Absolutely false. In fact, it’s one of several methods in a modern world in which alternatives have been developed.

Synthetic corks look like the real thing and perform perfectly fine, although they can sometimes be a challenge to remove from the bottle.

Another alternative is the Stelvin closure, a screw-cap system that provides an air-tight seal and is easy to open. Vintners in Australia and New Zealand led the screw-cap revolution, and within a generation or two, don’t be surprised if an ever dwindling supply of cork trees results in cork closures being replaced entirely.

1. European vintners make the best wines in the world.

There’s no doubt that many wines of France, Italy, Germany and other European nations are absolutely sublime.

But ever since the 1970s, many California wines have become their equals, more recently joined by bottlings from Oregon and Washington.

There are other myths as well, but as long as you embrace these five, you’ll expand your wine experiences in new, delicious and memorable ways.

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