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More common misconceptions about wine

More common misconceptions about wine

6. Red Wine has fewer calories than White Wine

Not necessarily.  The calories in wine come from the alcohol as well as from the residual sugar.  So a young fruity white wine with 12% Alc and  6g/l sugar (the addition of residual sugar made from concentrated must is very common) will have more calories than say a Red Crianza of 12% that is dry (that is to say less than 2 g/l of residual sugar.

There is much confusion surrounding how much sugar is in wine.  Basically what happens is that during fermentation the sugar in the grape is converted into alcohol. Normally a wine for everyday drinking or ageing is fermented until most of the sugar has converted to alcohol leaving a ‘residual sugar’ of less than 2g/l.  However, particularly in wines from the new world, it is common practise to add sugar made from concentrated grape must. Hence, the Common Misconception number 4 (see previous blog) about sweetness and fruitiness.

7. White wine with chicken or fish, Red Wine with Red Meat

‘We should only have red wine with meat’ ? Not always.  There is no steadfast rule that says you cannot have a red with fish.  Obviously, it would not work to have a full bodied red such as Le Riche Richesse from the current Discovery Selection with Plaice because the fish will be completely overpowered, however there are some lighter red such as a light Pinot Noir that work well with many fish dishes.  When matching wine with food it is about personal preference and considering the intensity of flavours.  We will come back the subject of how best to match wine with food in more detail in more blogs.

8. Uncork a Wine to let it Breath

Here again there is a half trust in this statement. To get the best from a full bodied or wine that has been it needs time ‘breath’. The proper way to aerate wine is to decant it.  Just by pouring the wine you are allowing air to mix with the wine this will speed up the process.  How long you let is sit depends on the wine.  A medium bodied wine such as the Monte Schiavo Rosso Picceno will open up quickly, however the Les haute du Fief from Cave de Tain, will need more time.  Try decanting a half the bottle and then taste the decanted wine alongside the wine poured from the bottle and see if you notice any difference.

9.  Organic Wines have no Chemicals

While no chemicals are used when growing the grapes, during fermentation sulphites are produced naturally but when the wine is bottled additional sulphites may be legally added be added in order to stabilise the wine and prevent it from oxidising .  Some consumer are intolerant to sulphur and think that Organic wines are the answer.  You must pay attention to the information printed on the back label to be sure.

10. Rosé Wines are of lesser quality

Generally speaking this is not true.  The colour in a red wine comes from the skins. Without any contact with the skin the juice is fairly clear. Rosés are made from the the juice of the red grapes that has spent very little contact with the skins of grapes. So good quality Rosé can offer a wonderful glass of wine every bit as good if not better than young reds and whites.  Rosé are great to accompany a wider selection of dishes both with fish and white meats.

I did say ‘generally’ speaking because unfortunately at the bottom end of the scale you can find Rosés that are made from unsold red wine mixed with unsold white wine.  The results are not good but are easy to identify.  If you want some tips on how to find the best Rosés or anything leave a comment in the section below.

Written by

I am a Northern Irishman based in Valencia. My career in wine began more than three decades ago, in London. I am the founder of TheWinePlace.es, an online store, where wine enthusiasts can enjoy a selection of international wines and Verde Marte, a company dedicated to exporting Spanish wines. Also, Thewineplace.courses, an "approved program provider" of the courses of the prestigious WSET. I share my passion for wines through my media work writing weekly columns for the Spanish newspaper El Mundo and 5 Barricas, an online wine magazine.

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