Wine Myths You Shouldn’t Swallow

August 2, 2019

In pursuing and sharing fun facts and interesting trivia, we sometimes like to get a little fancy around here. Pour yourself a glass of myth-busting!

Myth: You’re supposed to drink red wine with beef and white wine with fish.

Truth: First of all, you shouldn’t drink red wine if you don’t like red wine, even if you’re having a lovely beef roast for dinner. Wine experts have espoused this in the past because red wines traditionally balanced out big, fatty, flavors of meat, while the more delicate whites paired better with the lighter taste of fish. But wine has evolved to where choices from either style can go with either entree. For example, light red wines that are low in tannins (bitter-tasting molecules found naturally in grapes) go fine with seafood, and heavier whites like Chardonnay can pair up with beef.

Myth: Wines with a screw-top or twist-off cap are inferior to wines sealed with corks.

Truth: A bottle’s closure has no relation to its quality. Corks prevent oxidation by blocking the entry of oxygen, but screw-top technology has advanced to the point where they prevent more air than corks. Wineries started using screw-tops over corks because they were more secure and could sustain the long journey of being shipped around the world. And it’s not like corks were the perfect solution anyway. They tend to crumble into the wine (if the bottle sits for years), and they were merely once an improvement over the wine bottle stopper method from hundreds of years ago: oily rags shoved into bottles.

Myth: Wine gets better with age.

Truth: Very few wines get better with ages. More than 90 percent of wine produced around the world today is carefully crafted to taste best within one or two years. Experts say that the wines that do improve with age — heavy reds, as certain bitter-tasting chemicals lighten up over time — don’t change too much after the first 10 ten years of hanging out in a cellar. Other wines actually get worse over time. Rosé, for example, is supposed to be consumed within the season it was bottled, and may end up tasting more bitter the longer it sits.