The truth about three common wine misconceptions
There is a plethora of dos and don’ts that surround the drinking of wine. Some of which are true, some remain a matter of taste and ritual while others are just myths, plain and simple.
Knowing what is actually true and what happens to be false is a bit of a minefield, however, and just like choosing a fine wine, it can be navigated with a little helping hand from people in the know.
Researchers from the University of California teamed with the American Chemical Society to explore some of the most common wine-related rules. While they found that wine taste is indeed altered by the shape of the glass it’s served in and swirling and slurping does indeed improve flavour, it’s the myths that they dispelled that are the most intriguing.
- Wine should be left to breath
One of the most common rituals, especially amongst red wine drinkers, leaving wine to breathe is not exactly a myth, but it depends a lot on the wine itself whether or not you should bother with the process.
Decanting old wine can cause it to fall apart somewhat if it’s left for too long, whereas letting a younger wine breathe can help the flavours to become a little more complex. So always letting a wine breathe whilst not strictly a myth, should be decided on a case-by-case basis.
- White wine should be served cold and red wine at room temperature
A lot of white wine drinkers like to consume theirs ice cold, but it’s actually better practice to leave white wine out of the fridge for at least 15 minutes before drinking it at a slightly warmer temperature, thus allowing the more delicate notes of the white wine to stand out.
Red wine drinkers on the other hand tend to serve theirs warm, but it’s actually better to chill it ever so slightly before serving, for around 15 minutes as very warm red wine can lose the definition in its flavours.
- Always pair white wine with fish and red wine with meat
While a sommelier in a restaurant will often choose to pair wine with food in this way, it is actually more important to look at the type of sauce or garnish you’re having with the dish when pairing your wine.
Meatier fishes like tuna or swordfish are often served with red wine just for example, so you might want to pair that with a light Pinot Noir instead of a white wine.