Wine has become the media’s unexpected health darling. News outlets of all types are posting articles every other day about how wine is like a super-food, making you smarter, thinner, and everything else under the sun that you wouldn’t expect from an alcoholic beverage just to get you to consume it (as if you needed extra encouragement).
Even many of the articles you see that “debunk” the wine myths that media sources put out are stuffed with little lies. So, we decided to put together a list of the top five worst wine myths that need to be busted, pronto.
Myth #1: Sweet wines have a ton of sugar in them
Not necessarily. The sweetness you taste in your wine comes from residual sugar, or the sweetness that comes from the naturally-occurring sugar in wine grapes. The level of sweetness you perceive in your wine is based off of whether or not the yeast used to ferment the wine was able to convert all of the residual sugar into alcohol. If it didn’t, your wine will taste a little sweet. Sometimes, winemakers purposely disrupt the fermentation process to leave behind residual sugar.
Which brings us to the important point: The wine fermentation process eats up all of the residual sugar and turns it into alcohol. Therefore, even if extra sugar was added to the wine (as can be the case under certain circumstances), that sugar is converted to alcohol. It doesn’t remain in the wine as sweetness.
That means that, technically, wine with a “ton of sugar” in it would be highly alcoholic, not super sweet.
Myth #2: All wines taste better with age
Thankfully, this one is false. There’s no need to store your wines for years and years before enjoying them to their fullest. 90 percent of all wine produced is ready to drink within a year or two after bottling, so don’t try to buy a bottle of wine from your closest Harris Teeter and cellar it!
Pop that top and drink up! You’re wasting time otherwise!
Myth #3: Varietal wines are the best wines
This is a matter of opinion, but it’s an opinion that may stop people from consuming otherwise fantastic blends for the sake of staying true to their varietals.
First of all, just because the bottle claims to be a varietal wine, doesn’t make it totally true. In the U.S., a winemaker is allowed to label a wine as a certain varietal when it contains at least 75% of that grape. That means that a quarter of that bottle you’re drinking may or may not be the varietal you think it is, so there’s no need to be puritanical.
Secondly, wine blends can be just as tasty, or even more so, than varietal wines. The winemaker has blended the grapes in order to take each of the grapes’ best elements and enhance them through each other, and that sounds pretty great to us.
Myth #4: A wine’s “legs” can indicate the quality of a wine
Actually all a wine’s “legs” do is indicate a wine’s viscosity. So, if someone says a wine has great legs, they’re really saying that the wine has a higher ABV (alcohol by volume). Unless a high alcohol content is all you’re looking for in a wine, the legs do practically nothing to indicate a wine’s quality.
Myth #5: Only put leftover white wine in the refrigerator
Refrigeration can act as a preservative for all kinds of wines, red included. Obviously, there are ideal serving temperatures for different kinds of wines, but refrigerating your red wine is a much better option than leaving it exposed to sunlight or subjecting it to environments warmer than 70 degrees which can damage the flavor.
However, do not try to consume red wine straight out of the refrigerator. Make sure you allow it some time to warm up to the ideal temperature before serving, otherwise the flavor will be affected (most likely, the wine will taste far more tannic and astringent than it would at the right temperature).
So there you have it: the worst wine myths in existence, busted. If you know nothing else about wine, know this: it’s a fabulous drink and should be enjoyed frequently with family and friends. Happy drinking!
Visit our Virtual Wine Tasting page to see which of our wines will delight your taste buds the most.
Or learn about our upcoming event, the Swan Creek Riedel Red Barrel Tasting Wine Tour and get tickets ASAP!