Top Wine Myths Debunked

If you’re a wine drinker, you know that there’s a lot too, well, know. Hiding among the rich history of wine and wine drinking are myths to be on the lookout for. As long as there has been wine on this planet, there have been misconceptions that can point people in the wrong direction. While most are harmless, some myths could be costing you more money. They may also be deterring you from secretly good wines!

The wine world is a mysterious place full of wonder and luxury, and we love that. There are, however, some myths out there that we don’t want you to listen to. So, before you purchase a new bottle or head to another winery, let’s talk about wine myths. We’re going to go over the most common myths and debunk them so you can continue enjoying wine!

glass of wine

Source

Wine has to be Expensive to be Good

We all know the movie trope of ordering the most expensive bottle of wine on the menu. Does the price automatically mean it’s better? Not necessarily. The subject of expensive wines can be a touchy subject depending on the crowd. Quality can influence the price, but there are other factors that go into it.

For example, a study showed how the value of grape characteristics can influence the price of wine. [1] Due to availability, wine made from rare grapes may be more expensive. Other factors that determine price include location and reputation. A bottle of wine that’s hard to find is going to be expensive, no matter how good it may taste.

At the end of the day, an expensive bottle of wine will likely be good quality, but focus on what you like. If you love the $10 bottle of red at the grocery store, who cares about the price tag? Wine should be enjoyed!

Aged Wine is Always Better

Another common myth is that aged wine is always better. This is not always the case. Typically, most wines are meant to be opened and enjoyed within a year or two. To properly age a wine, you need the right storage and the knowledge to do so.  Letting a bottle of wine gather dust on the shelf isn’t going to make it taste any better.

While a finely-aged red is a delightful treat, there are plenty of wines that can be consumed earlier in their lifespan. It ultimately comes down to your preference on wine.

Aging spirits is a historical practice that’s been practiced for as long as alcohol has been around.[2] If you’re interested in the wine aging process, it’s a great hobby and possible to do yourself! Make sure you do your research so it’s done the right way.

Red Wine Should Always Be Served At Room Temperature

How many times have you heard that only sparkling and white wine should be kept in the fridge? While reds are typically served at room temperature for the best experience, there are exceptions to the rule.

If you’d like to try a red wine chilled, we suggest one that is light or medium-bodied. The wine should have a low level of tannins.[3] Essentially, tannins are what makes red wine taste the way it does. Wines made from the Pinot Noir grape would be best for a chilled red wine experience.

Experimentation is always encouraged, too! You never know what may taste good out of a wine chiller.

If It’s a Screw Top, It’s Cheap!

The screw-on cap of a wine bottle is another hot topic in the wine community. If you see a screw on the wine cap, you automatically think ‘cheap.’ This is simply not the case! Screw caps are becoming popular in wine packaging. This is because it makes wine easier to open. Don’t have a corkscrew? No problem with a screw-off cap!

The stigma behind the screw cap is fading as they become more commonplace in the wine world. In fact, you may find yourself picking up a nice bottle of red without noticing it has a screw cap until you get home!

Box Wine is Always Bad

There is some truth to this one, due to some of the poor quality brands. Again, the type of wine you drink is up to you! Everyone has a preference, and you don’t always need to be drinking a fine Bordeaux. We’re seeing a shift in wine packaging due to sustainability, and boxed wine is one of those options.

Did you know that boxed wine produces around half the carbon emissions that a glass bottle does?[4]

If the wine is intended to be aged, it must be in a bottle. Otherwise, a box will do just fine. Since most wines are made to be drunk within a year or two, the box shouldn’t alter the quality. It’s also an eco-friendly option and produces half the carbon emissions that a glass bottle does.

Winemakers are striving to find alternatives to glass bottles to make their products more sustainable. Don’t turn your nose up just because a wine is in a box or metal can, it can be as good as bottled wine!

A Good Wine MUST Have Legs

When you go to a wine tasting, they have you look at the legs. You swirl the wine, and when it drips down you hold up the glass to see the streaks. These are the legs, which are sometimes referred to as wine tears. Wine legs are manifested as a ring of a clear liquid that forms near the top of a glass above the surface of the wine. This is an example of The Marangoni Effect.[5]

It’s a common misconception that wine legs are a sign of high-quality wine. The wine legs are actually a display of the viscosity of the wine. This is connected to the alcohol content in wine. So, wine legs are actually indicative of how much alcohol is in the wine you’re tasting. The higher the alcohol content, the thicker the legs will be.

Metal Spoons Will Keep Your Sparkling Wine Fresh

If you’ve ever seen a spoon hanging out in an open bottle of sparkling wine, this myth is for you. The idea is that if you put a metal utensil such as a spoon or fork in a bottle of champagne, it will keep its fizzy nature longer.

Without getting too science-y, the theory is that the metal spoon will draw in the cold from the fridge. This means your sparkling wine will be chilled enough so the carbonation won’t leave the bottle. Science has since debunked this myth showing that it does not work.[6]

Final Thoughts

To sum it up, the world of wine is full of history along with myths. Many of these myths will deter you from exploring everything that wine has to offer, so don’t believe them! What’s most important is that you’re drinking wine that you enjoy. Cheers!

Also read: Top Myths about the Greek God Dionysus

Want to read more? Try these books!

Wine Myths & Reality The Myth of Wine- A cultural exploration with instructions for use

References

[1]https://www.researchgate.net/publication/248419304_What_Determines_the_Price_of_Wine_The_Value_of_Grape_Characteristics_and_Wine_Quality_Assessments

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7866556/

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7330065/

[4] https://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/18/opinion/18colman.html

[5] https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/news/marangoni.html

[6] https://www.theguardian.com/food/2021/dec/31/putting-spoon-in-open-bottle-champagne-sparkling-wine-does-not-keep-it-bubbly#:~:text=The%20fact%20is%2C%20it’s%20a,off%20buying%20a%20proper%20stopper.

Categories: This Day in Wine History | ArticlesTags: , , , , , By Published On: February 8, 2023Last Updated: February 28, 2024

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