#6…. Removing The Cork And Letting The Wine Breath Makes It Taste Better…. By simply removing the cork from a bottle of wine and letting it sit upright for as long as you feel necessary has little or no effect on the taste of the wine. It would be like trying to cool off Cobo Arena with a window size air conditioner. The nickel size amount of wine exposed to air in the neck of the bottle is so insignificantly small that it is near impossible for any chemical reaction to take place. None of the wine underneath in the bottle is getting any exposure at all. Air is the key. Your wine is a living breathing thing and to help it see its full potential is air. Think of a young bunch of flowers you purchase and bring home. The bulbs are tight, they look pretty, but with a little time and air, they blossom into a gorgeous bouquet. The same theory applies to wine. You can accomplish this by pouring the contents of your bottle into a spacious decanter with helps burn off excess sulphur and alcohol that inhibits a wines full character. In doing so, flavors and aroma’s will happily smooth out, resulting in an enhanced drinking experience.
#7…. Higher Ratings Mean Better Wines…. I know many clients who purchase wine swear by this creed. What they are doing is putting their full trust in someone else’s palate. Rating are in fact, and should be used, only as a guideline. They are not bible and they are not always reflective of a wines quality. I have numerous bottles in my cellar that I enjoy immensely that were panned quite low by the so called expert/critics rating standards. Equally so, I have tasted many highly rated darlings over the years that I wouldn’t go out of my way to purchase, none less recommend them to any customers. Great wines, like cars, books, food and everything else in life comes down to a matter of taste. Use ratings as a tool. In the end, let yourself be the judge and jury. Trust your own palate, not someone who has no clue as to what you should like. By doing so, it will be more fun, and in the long run, may save you tons of cash and the embarrassment of tasting a bottle you really didn’t enjoy.
#8…. Sniffing A Cork Tells You If A Wine Is Good Or Bad… This exhibition is such a snobberish ritual, anyone caught doing so should be given a time out in the corner of the room. Unless you have superhuman sensory powers to detect the slightest hint of mold or cork imperfections, at best, you may come away with a red tipped nose accompanied by a few snickering stares. If a cork is tainted, it will be reflected in the taste of the wine. That is why tasting a small amount of wine, in the sniff-swirl-taste method, before pouring the bottle to everyone else is most preferable. When presented with a cork at a restaurant or at a dinner party, squeezing it to determine if it is solid, crumbling or too soft, is the most fail safe experiment to remember. If it feels wet and mushy as opposed to firm and dry, chances are, your wine may be infected. Practicing this method, you will look the hero in the eyes of friends and the wine gods. So remember, sniff at your own risk.
#9…. Shiraz Is Better Than Syrah…. I’ve heard it before and I hear it still. Uttering such foolishness is like saying Fume Blanc and Sancerre are better than Sauvignon Blanc. Bordeaux is better than Cabernet and Merlot. Chianti taste far better than Sangiovese. All these facts are one in the same. Shiraz is Syrah (Shiraz is the Aussie slang for the grape Syrah), Fume Blanc and Sancere are in fact Sauvignon Blanc. Most Bordeaux wines are made from the Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot grape (Or a combination of both). Chianti is made exclusively from the Sangiovese grape. Learning what grape varietals comprise the makeup of certain wines can make you look like an expert in a field that no man, woman or connoisseur has yet to or will ever master.
There are plenty of other wine myth’s to ponder. Sweet wines are for sissies? The type of wine glass you drink from makes no difference in the taste of a wine? Sulphites in wine cause headaches? All pink wines are sweet? Organic wines taste funny? Either we can all agree to disagree or we can discuss the issues at hand to be a more informed consumer. If there is a myth you wish to share for future articles, please drop us a line. There is no bad or wrong question, especially is we can help answer it or steer you in the right direction.