The world of wine can be intimidating for beginners. You often go into it with all these misconceptions in your head that you’ve read online, or have been told by an avid wine lover. But is everything you hear true? And should it stop you from diving into the world of wine? The answer is no to both.
I started Cork and Fizz to make wine more approachable and fun. Today, I’m sticking to my guns by debunking five wine myths you’ve been told, and educating you with the facts!
MYTH #1: WINE WITH A SCREWCAP IS LOW QUALITY WINE
This is just not true. While screwcaps are popular today, they actually go WAY back. They were first invented in France in the 60’s. If you know wine history, you know that France is the motherland of wine, so who are we to argue with that?? There’s a few reasons why screwcaps are becoming more mainstream today though. First, they’re easier to open, and since you can just screw the cap back on, they’re also easier to store. Second, winemakers and importers are choosing screw caps over corks as there are fewers faults that can occur in the wine as opposed to corks. Screwcap technology is always improving, and if you look closely, you will find wines at all quality levels sealed with a screwcap!
MYTH #2: WINE IN A BOX IS NOT GOOD WINE
Again, no. The type of container used for wine doesn’t necessarily affect the quality of the wine within. It will, however, affect the wine’s shelf life. But, since most wines aren’t bought for aging (let’s be real), a box of bagged wine could contain fantastic quality wine!
Similar to the screwcap, winemakers are always looking for alternatives when it comes to the traditional wine bottling methods. Something you may not know is that glass wine bottles are very hard on the environment. They’re hard to recycle and difficult to ship due to the excess packaging material that needs to be used. We’re likely to see more great wine being packaged in alternative formats in the near future!
MYTH #3: RED WINE SHOULD NEVER BE CHILLED
This is probably one of the most common assumptions. I’m sure you’ve been told “reds should be served at room temperature” before. The truth is that all wines should be chilled for a short amount of time. Wine in general is best enjoyed at 55-64 degrees, and most room temperatures are much higher than that. Red wines that are light to medium bodied, with low tannins (like those from Beaujolais, or those made from the Pinot Noir grape) are especially good when chilled. A good rule of thumb is to place your red wine in the fridge 15-20 min before enjoying. But, try it out for yourself! Experiment chilling different reds and see what you like.
MYTH #4: SULFITES IN WINE CAUSES HANGOVERS
A night of drinking wine can cause a serious headache in the morning (no judgement here, I’ve been there). While most are quick to point fingers at the sulfites for their headache, I’m here to tell you that sulfites are not the culprit. Sulfites are the by-product of the fermentation process in wine making. They work as a preservative against certain yeast and bacteria, and are all natural. Sulfite intolerances or allergies do exist, but you probably don’t suffer from it. Sulfites are actually present in many foods that we all love! This includes: dried fruit, cheese, and even potatoes. Wine, just like any alcoholic beverage, causes your horrible headache in the morning due to dehydration. To avoid this, be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day, and to sip it in between your glasses of wine.
MYTH #5: GREAT WINES HAVE ‘LEGS’
‘Legs’ (sometimes known as ‘tears’) are the dribbles of wine you see on the inside of your glass after you swirl it. Sometimes they’re very pronounced, and other times they’re not even seen. Many believe that their appearance indicates the quality of the wine, but this is not the case. The ‘legs’ are actually more of an indication of the wine’s alcoholic strength, color intensity, and even the sugar content, but not the quality.
Did any of these myths surprise you? Let me know in the comments!
If you love wine, and want to join a fun community where you not only meet fellow wine lovers, but learn about different wines every month, come join my wine club, the Cork Crew! Read the details and sign up today here.