The Myths, Misconceptions & Fake News…About Wine

If you read wine magazines, wine columns in your daily paper or visit wine blogs, does it ever happen that you come across a statement that does not sound quite right to you.  It happens to me all the time.  I find some of these statements to be “myths”, “misconceptions” or plainly “fake news.”

As it applies to wine, a “myth” is a widely held but false belief.  A “misconception” is a view or opinion that is incorrect because it is based on faulty thinking or understanding.  And… “Fake News” is false information published under the guise of being authentic.   Let’s see how these will play in some popular statements that we read in the wine literature:

Red wines with meat, white wines with fish – Myth

These old guidelines for pairing don’t apply.  It is an old myth that only complimentary pairing of the wine and the food works.  Contrasting intensities between the wine and the food may work as well as long as both the wine and the food are in good balance and can maintain their identities without overwhelming each other.

Legs are evidence of high quality wine – Myth

Legs are streaks that run down the glass when you swirl the wine.  It has nothing to do with the quality of the wine, only a result of the surface tension that the wine exerts on the glass and created by the wine components, the major one being the alcohol.

A heavy bottle means a wine should be good – Myth

A heavy glass bottle indicates that it cost good money to acquire but has no bearing on the quality of the wine.

Desserts should be paired only with dessert wines – Myth

Sometimes a sweet dessert is better off being paired with a big red wine rather than a sweet wine.  Never shun away from pairing a dessert with a dry wine.

Screw cap is a sign of low quality wine – Misconception 

Actually, the screw cap enhances the quality of the wine since it does not have the problems associated with cork taint that results from a chemical compound (TCA) transferred from the cork.

Red wine should be served at room temperature – Misconception

Red wine is best served at around 60 degrees.  As the serving temperature increases so is the vapor pressure of the alcohol, which makes the wine, feel more alcoholic and less aromatic.

Napa is the only game in town – Misconception

A wine has a sense of place.  It acquires the identity of where the grapes grow, which depends on the weather and soil conditions.  While a wine made from grapes that grow in the Sierra Foothills may be different from a Napa wine, it need not be inferior.

Wine critics know which wine is best for you – Misconception

Critics’ scores are not the gospel.  At best, they represent their personal opinion in an area that is very subjective.  The 100-point scoring system makes the evaluation incredibly opinionated and not trustworthy.

Organic wines, and wines made with organic grapes have more antioxidants – Fake News

This kind of statement is probably made to advance the interests of organic wine producers without objective, scientific evidence.

I could probably find one hundred more of these “myths” and “misconceptions.”  But I won’t.  Have a great day and enjoy a glass of good wine – Di Arie wine!!!!

Cheers!

Chaim