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Top 10 Most Common Wine Myths You Probably Still Believe In

Neil Patrick

Before the international wine testing in Paris in 1976, most people from around the world thought that only France can create excellent-tasting, high-quality wines.

This is only one of the many myths that revolved about wine to this day. We listed down 10 of these common wine myths that have long been debunked. Feel free to laugh at some of them. Or feel enlightened after finally coming to terms with the facts.

10. Fruit flavors that can be seen in wine labels were the main ingredients in making them. 

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Wine is made from grapes and grape varieties. Fruits used to describe the wine in the labels such as strawberry are used only to describe the taste of the wine and not the actual ingredient of the wine. If the label hints that the wine has a taste similar to strawberry, the maker of the wine simply implies the wine tastes like strawberry. There are contemporary fruit wines that exist in the market that are made from a variety of fruits other than grapes. They are referred to as the “wet” wines while the grape wines are “dry”. However, fruit wines are entirely different from wines with fruit descriptions or flavors in them.

9. Wines age best using cork seals and not caps. 

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This is one of the many wine myths that has been debunked ages ago. In fact, it was proven incorrect by a more recent study in 2005. The study which was published in an issue of Wine Spectator revealed that screw caps were more effective in sealing wines allowing only 0.001 cc of oxygen into the wine per day while the cork let in more from 0.1 to 0.001 cc of oxygen. The lesser the oxygen inside the bottle, the longer the bottle ages. Thus, you get a better taste of the wine sealed in screw caps. But, if you want the traditional-looking bottle of wine, you can still go for the cork-sealed ones for a more authentic and romantic feel.

8. A specific type of wine requires a specific type of glass. 

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This myth is vintage. If you still believe this, then you probably need some updates. The flavor of the wine and smell the aroma of the wine really does improve with the use of tulip glass. But, you do not need a variety of glasses in order to effectively place the wine in different areas in your tongue or to better aerate the wine. The use of different types of glasses might be ceremonial but certainly not practical.

7. White wine is paired with white meat such as fish or chicken while red wine is paired with red meats. 

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One of the most common wine myths still existent to this day is that you should pair your white meat with white wine in a fancy restaurant. Or when you prepare dinner at home, you should have red wine to go with your red meat. While, it is common practice, it is incorrect. You can pair your white meat with white or red wine. And you can pair your red meat with white or red wine. Your choice depends on which wine complements the flavor of your meal based on its ingredients and preparation and based on your preference. You can better your options if you know your wine and food very well. But if you are not sure, you can always summon the label or some wine article online for some suggestions.

6. Champagne, Burgundy, Port, Cherry and Bordeaux are grape wines. 

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Some wine makers label their alcoholic beverages in the most unusual way. For example, some cities known to produce top quality wine such as Spain and Portugal, France and Italy do not allow the production of grape varieties. But, wineries who do otherwise still have to comply with certain rules and regulations required legally in labeling their products.

To avoid legal glitches and for easier promotion and advertisement, wineries label their products based on the characteristic of their grape variety products in relation to the known place that produce wine with the same characteristic. For example, Champagne is place known for its sparkling wine products. If you produce a wine that sparkles, you promote it as Champagne and label it as such. If you produce wine that does not sparkle, you cannot really label it as Champagne. This is the same with other varieties of grape wines which were named after the places that became popular for the distinct characteristic of their wine products.

5. Red wine tastes better at room temperature while white wine tastes better when chilled. 

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This is not necessarily true. Experts agree that wines are best served not at room temperature. Both red and white wines best taste when they are chilled before serving. They claim that red wines tasted better when placed in the fridge about 5 to 15 minutes before consumption. White wines taste better when chilled in the fridge about 20 to 30 minutes before consumption. However, there are no hard and fast rules in serving your wine. It still boils down to personal and social preference. Some enjoy their wine chilled especially on a warm weather. Some like them at room temperature.

4. Wine is for the elite and snobbish.

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Wine is not exclusive to the elite, the rich and the snob. It is for those who enjoy their meal with wine. Many wine lovers such as wine tasters, producers of wine and owners of wineries are actually very warm and kind people. If you happen by Bordeaux as a tourist searching to taste their excellent wine collections, you will be welcomed like family. Some people who are truly snobbish and elitist when it comes to wine are those who are ignorant of wine. Wine lovers who are genuine are humbled before wine and are committed to pursue the art of improving wine to perfection. And this principle is beyond them and their personal status. They would not hesitate to share their wine and their knowledge.

3. The longer the age of the wine, the better the quality and taste.

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The age of the wine does not imply the quality of the wine. Wine age to a certain limit when they acquire the best taste and smell. But, after this age, the quality of the wine starts to degenerate. Some wines should be consumed within a few years. Some wines should be consumed for decades before they are opened. Some wines that aged for many years are of course held with more value because of the invested time to improve wine taste. But, this does not imply they are superior in taste compared to less aged wines.

2. Wine quality can be discerned by wine legs.

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Wine contains alcohol and water. These two substances are chemically different. Thus, when you swirl your glass or left it at different temperatures, these two may separate. The water adheres to the glass forming what some call “tears” while alcohol, which is more volatile, evaporates more quickly. Water drips back down due to the pull of gravity forming the said “tears” or “legs”. The phenomenon does not objectify the quality of the wine.

1.  The smell of the cork indicates the quality of the wine.

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Wine can go bad. And the smell of the cork has no way of telling whether your wine has gone bad. Cork smells like what is is supposed to smell. Wine goes bad when the bottle or seal has been damaged. Or the wine tastes bad because it might not be the original content. It might be a fake. Or it might be bad wine placed in another bottle. It is best to look at the label and information of the wine and not the cork. And the taste says it all.