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Stupid things people say about wine

Many people say stupid things about wine believing them to be correct. Sometimes half truths take on a lives of their own and become accepted as truths. Here are some common expressions about wine…

  1. All wines tastes the sameNo they don’t. Learning how to taste wines requires practice to identify different aromas and flavours. Over time you will discover flavours and styles of wine that will make wine much more fun and interesting.

  2. White wines are for the ladies. There are some men who think that white wines just for aperitifs and are for the ladies. Some of the finest and most complex wines in the world are white.

  3. Wines with screw caps are cheap and poor quality’. I hear this one quite often and in this is just stupid. The closure whether it be cork or screw cap is not an indication of the wine’s quality.

  4. Sniff the cork to see if the wine is OK. All the sniffing the cork does is makes you an expert cork sniffer, it won’t tell you anything about the quality of the wine. If the cork is dried out or mouldy is different that could be a sign that there is a problem, but not by smelling the cork.

  5. Roses are poorer quality that whites and reds’, totally wrong. In fact to make a good quality rosé is more expensive to make because more kilos of grapes are required for less litres of wine. Rosés are made from the juice of red grapes that has had very little contact with the skins, which contains the colour.

  6. Red wines with a deeper colour have more flavour’. Not so. Different grapes produce wines with more or less colour, also you can determine the age of the wine but the colour but colour alone does not determine quality.

  7. Wines with legs are better, another misconception. Legs (lagrimas) that slowly slide down the glass will only indicate that the wine has a fully body and more alcohol.

  8. Wines get better with age’. Some do but the vast majority do not. Most wines once bottled are not going to improve.

  9. A heavy bottle indicates better quality. The type of bottle has no bearing at all on the quality of the wine. All it means is that it will cost you more.

  10. Red wines should be served at room temperature. This is true if you live in a house where the room temperature is 16ºC, however, if that is not the case then don’t serve red wine at ‘your’ room temperature, as I write this it is 27ºC in my house.

  11. Red wine with red meat and white wine with fish. While not totally wrong, if you read this column regularly you will know that there are many reasons why this is not always correct. It is more important to match intensity and flavours than colours.

  12. Expensive wines are always better’. The price of wine is determined by many factors, cost of production, size of the winery, cost of materiales. Suffice to say that by paying more does not mean you are going to enjoy the wine more.

  13. Sweet wines are for beginners’ – this is a sweeping generalisation and for that reason I include it here. Sweet wines are among some of the finest wines in the world.

  14. I don’t like New Zealand wines’ – it is stupid to disregard the wines from any particular country. It is like a New Zealander saying ‘I don’t like Spanish wines’, with so much choice it sounds dumb, right?

If you have any doubts about things you hear about wine drop me a line and let me know.

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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