Wine can sometimes be related to ideas that seem very far from reality. But if you are a true wine lover or simply want to learn more about wine, you’ll certainly find this interesting.
1. The older the better
Many people believe that the more time wine is kept in the barrel for aging, the better it gets. The describing terms, “young”, “barrel aged” and “reserve”, do not indicate the quality of the wine but its age. It is true that some types of wine need longer time to mature and, for this reason, they have higher production costs than other with less maturing time, like the “reserve” wines. Hence, they are more expensive, but not necessarily better.
Most of the wines produced today are meant to be consumed within 3 years. As to the “maturity” of a wine, there are many myths. There are many “reserve” wines that are of lower quality.
2. Red wine with meat, white wine with fish
This is another phrase that many have taken as the standard but it’s not necessarily true. Although red wine goes better with stronger dishes and white wine with soft dishes, this rule is subject to the type of wine and plate to serve. The real secret of a good combination is that wine enhances the flavor of the food and the other way round.
3. Rosé wine is for women
Rosé wine always had a reputation as an easy-to-drink-wine and to be of lower quality than red or white, chosen by people that are not too keen on wine and women. But this belief, in addition to being sexist, is meaningless. There are high-quality rosé wines which, moreover, are an ideal accompaniment to vegetables, pasta, rice or omelets.
4. I only drink Rioja and Ribera to make sure
No one disputes that the origins of Rioja and Ribera del Duero are Spain’s most famous appellations and have various premium wineries. But because of this reason, many of their wines have a premium quality without any justification.
It is also true that there are appellations with an excellent quality offering good wines at a lower price. Some Spanish examples include Toro, Bierzo, Rias Baixas, Somontano, Penedes, Terra Alta, Jumilla, and Alicante.
5. Spanish cava or champagne are for desserts
Another myth asserted without substance. Although it is common to enjoy champagne or cava together with the dessert, this is the worst thing you can do with a Brut or a Dry cava as it spoils the sweet combination. For dessert or after dinner, it is best to choose a sweet or semi-dry cava which is fresher and smoother.
Similar to wines, there are also different kinds of Spanish cavas depending on their maturing time (Young, Reserva, and Gran Reserva) and the type of grapes used in the assemblage (cava can only be made of 9 varieties). In addition, they are distinguished by the amount of contained sugar. There are 6 varieties depending on the sweetness of cava: Brut, Extra Brut, Brut, Extra Dry, Dry, and Sweet. Dry Spanish cavas are suitable to pair with appetizers, seafood, and fish while a Brut goes perfectly with stews or ham.
6. If the cap is not corked the wine is bad
We have become very used to corks but many wines are kept well with screw caps. This doesn’t only apply to wines of poor quality.
On the one hand, screw caps can be problematic for packing vintage wines with more need for oxygen. But on the other hand, they are perfect for young wines.
7. White wine is served cold, and red tempered
Wine should be served at the temperature indicated by the production warehouse. Wines with long aging are usually served at approximately 18 degrees; White wines are served colder: a young white wine should be served at about 6 or 8 degrees meanwhile the matured ones at about 9 or 12 degrees.
8. Look at the cork to see if it’s gone bad
In many restaurants, the waiter leaves the wine cork on the table so the guest can smell it. And surely, you can smell it, but the smelling of the cork will not tell you anything about the wine you’re about to drink. But you can check if the cork is whole and, therefore, no cork pieces in the wine.
9. White wines give a headache
False, the addition of sulfites to wines for their conservation is something that is studied increasingly, and now you can obtain a better preservation with a smaller amount of added sulfites. Anyway, the sulfur of sulfites is not responsible for headaches.
10. The wine acids are bad
Heartburn is alkaline. If the wine has no acidity, it will not combine with any food.
11. Open the bottle and let the wine breathe
A question often asked in restaurants. But they might as well serve it straight away. To have any effect on the wine, the bottle has to be opened several hours before serving. You will get the same effect and much faster after some minutes in the glass.
Cune Crianza 2012: a red wine with Rioja DO from Cune (CVNE) cellar based on the best of Garnacha Negra and Garnacha Tinta from 2012 and with an alcoholic strength of 13.5º
Hacienda López de Haro Tempranillo 2014: a red wine with DO Rioja based on the top of tempranillo from 2014 vintage and has an alcohol content of 13.5º.