Demystifying the most common wine myths
The world of wine is full of charm and mystery, but also of myths and urban legends that can influence our perceptions and experiences. It is time to correct these misconceptions, which also lack any scientific basis, and discover the truth behind each of them.
5 false myths about wine
Inserting a spoon into a bottle of sparkling wine will preserve its effervescence.
You have probably seen a bottle of sparkling wine in the fridge with a spoon in the top. In Spain this is a deeply rooted tradition, because people believe that the metal spoon cools down quickly and the cold metal, by emitting colder air around it, makes it difficult for the gas to escape.
Some people also think that the metal in contact with the liquid causes the bubbles to stick to the spoon, instead of coming out of the bottle. However, this has no scientific basis. It is best to get a good airtight stopper especially for sparkling wines and extend the life of your favourite bubbles for a few more days or, of course, finish the bottle in good company.
Red wine is served at room temperature and should never be chilled.
First of all, what do we mean by room temperature? If we were to think of the global temperature and find the average between the world’s different climates, the calculations would result in a global value of about 14°C (which, unfortunately, is rising).
In reality, the ambient temperature turns out to be colder than we think and is not common for all the inhabitants of the Earth nor for all the seasons of the year. The ideal recommended temperature for drinking red wines ranges from 13°C to 18°C (the global average temperature falls within this range), which is what we mean by “room temperature”.
Therefore, if you don’t have a fridge at home that allows you to keep your red wines within this ideal drinking temperature range, we recommend that you cool them slightly before serving. Give them about 20 minutes in the fridge and, while you serve and drink them, they will be at their ideal temperature to enjoy them as they should be. There are even lighter, fruitier wines, which in summer are best enjoyed with a light touch of cold.
A white wine should be a wine of the year, because white wines don’t age well.
If anyone still believes this, they are sure to have missed out on great wines and legendary long-aged white wines, like the Viña Tondonia Blanco Gran Reserva, a wine so sought after that it is always out of stock.
It is true that not all white wines (but not all red wines either) are made for long aging. There are factors that contribute to a wine’s extraordinary longevity. Nowadays we can find white wines that are left to rest or that are aged in oak barrels to add complexity and creaminess. If you’re not familiar with them yet, let us advise you, try some of them and you will see that the short life of white wines is nothing more than a myth.
The golden rule: white wines for fish and red wines for meats and cheeses.
In the previous myth we talked about aged white wines, which serves as a good introduction to demystify the deep-rooted belief about the best pairing: white wines with fish and red wines with meat. It is precisely these aged white wines that offer such significant body and complexity that they are capable of accompanying a hearty stew with or without meat. And furthermore, despite what we have always believed, aged white wines are the best companions for cheeses. Didn’t you know?
On the other hand, there are red wines that, due to their delicacy, are not the best to accompany meats in very strong or spicy stews. The strength of the dish overrides the subtlety of the wine and overshadows its presence. However, these wines can perfectly accompany a good fish. Do you fancy giving it a try?
The older the wines, the better.
Not all wines improve with age. Some wines are made for immediate enjoyment and are meant to be drunk young and fresh, while others benefit from the right amount of aging.
Furthermore, aging controlled by experts in a winery, in barrels or bottles under ideal temperature and humidity conditions, is not the same as aging at home. In other words, storing a wine for a long time is not enough to improve its quality.
Moreover, wines are like people, they are alive and they evolve, each one in a different way, so a well-preserved wine can age well and give us a pleasant surprise, or it can evolve in an unfavourable way that harms its organoleptic properties.
A good tool to enjoy the gradual evolution of a good wine is the coravin, which allows us to extract a small amount of liquid without having to uncork the bottle, allowing us to extend its life for weeks, months or even years and therefore be able to check when you would most enjoy opening the bottle.
It is incredible how today there are still rules and stereotypes about wine that are not always universal or absolute.
So, it’s time to separate fact from fiction and bust old myths to fully enjoy the fascinating world of wine! You won’t regret it!