Raise your hand if you are as confused about the world of wine as we are. Within the tornado of expert opinions, wine snobs and trembling novices trying to make sense of everything, there are nuggets of truth that bring to light the beauty of wine. These nuggets are often overshadowed by weird myths and downright fake news, which is why we debunked the top ones so you don’t have to!
White wine should ALWAYS be served chilled.
You’ve probably known this one since you started drinking wine - most wine connoisseurs are forceful when it comes to their chilled white wine. It does make sense, as white wine generally tastes better straight out of the fridge with an ice cube or two. It need not, however, be that extreme, as the ideal is in between ice cold and room temperature. If it’s served too cold, you lose the nuance of the flavour.
Verdict: When in doubt, chill your white wine.
Screw-top wines are the devil.
Up until recent years, screw-top wines were thought of as cheap and lower in quality. Luckily this is not usually the case. Thanks to new cellar technology, the distinction between cork and screw-top wines have become hazier. Sure, all high-end brands prefer cork, but that has a lot to do with perception. Screw-tops are capable of oxidation within the bottle, so just about any wine intended to be drunk within a year or two after bottling can be screw-top.
Verdict: Screw-top for now, cork for later.
Sweet wines are for beginners.
A longstanding myth, it is believed that sweet wines are made for beginner wine drinkers and beginner wine drinkers only. Yes, it’s much smoother on a novice palate than a dry wine, but it’s not just meant for those dipping their toe into the world of wine. It has a lot to do with personal taste preferences, so while your first wine might be on the sweeter side, your next one might not be.
Verdict: Do what your palate tells you.
ALL wines are meant to be aged.
It is common to want to age your wine - all the experts say you should, right? Nope, because all wines have different life spans. Aging wine is dependent on a ton of factors, like what soils the grapes were grown in, the winemaking process and the quality of grape used. It also depends on the variety: classic red wines can definitely be aged, while Rosé can be enjoyed in its harvest year. In South Africa, many wine producers indicate when is the best time to drink the wine, making things much easier.
Verdict: Not all wines are created equal.
Expensive wine is ALWAYS better.
It makes total sense to believe that the more expensive the wine is, the better it will taste. There is some truth to this, as more expensive wines are made from higher quality grapes, but a lot of the times the price tag has more to do with the brand and its reputation. The price of wine will go up according to how many awards it has won and what wine estate or cellar produced it. But, blind wine tastings have indicated that some consumers will choose the inexpensive wine over the more expensive one. It all depends on your tastebuds.
Verdict: Again, do what your palate tells you.