Getting your facts right

Whether you are a complete novice or a well-educated wine enthusiast, you may have come across some common myths about wine. Some have a smidgen of truth to them and some are based on superstitious beliefs. Here are a few common beliefs about wine and whether they are fact or myth.

1)      Screw top wines denote lower quality, MYTH

Many traditionalists think that because a wine has a screw top cap instead of cork it might be inferior.  This probably came from the idea that, the very first winemakers to produce wine on a large scale came from old world countries like France, Italy, and Spain. In these countries where traditional methods are followed for hundreds of years and many family generations meant that the use of corks have been associated with ‘top quality’. However due to advancing technologies, using a screw cap provides more reliability as there is no chance for the wine to become ‘corked’. That is not to say that corked wines are lesser than screw cap. They both have their pros and cons. Screw cap – prevents oxidisation and keeps the flavours of the wine fresher and vibrant for longer; cork – allows wines to age and develop over a long period of time, but runs the risk of being spoiled by the cork itself.

2) A silver spoon will keep your bottle of fizz fresh, MYTH

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Placing a silver spoon in the top of a bottle of sparkling wine does not keep it fizzy. The idea behind this is that since the silver spoon is a good conductor, it will stay colder and as a result, would keep the fizz colder and help to retain carbonation. However, this is no more than superstitious belief as the spoon does not stop the process of depressurisation. The only way that can make your sparkling wine last longer is to use a champagne stopper which prevents the air escaping or a vacuum stopper which removes the air inside the bottle and keeps the bottle pressurised.

3)      “Organic wines” are healthier, MYTH

Much like organic foods, the nutritional values of organic wines are pretty much the same as ordinarily grown wines. The only difference is in the way the grapes are grown and cultivated. Organic wines are made from grapes without the use of synthetic chemicals or fertilisers and results in being more environmentally friendly. A similar belief is that organic wines do not give hangovers as they have less sulphites. All wines contain trace amounts of sulphites (a little more may be added) and they are what keep them from spoiling and allow wines to be aged for long periods of time. In fact there are even everyday product that contain sulphites such as dried fruits, potatoes, maraschino cherries, yet very few people suffer headaches from these products. If you keep getting hangovers and headaches from drinking wine, keep an eye on the alcohol level. A higher ABV level will have much more impact on how you feel than whether a wine has sulphites.

These are only a few misconceptions surrounding wine and there are no doubt many more. Make sure you have done your research to better understand wine and to help to pick a wine that you would not have otherwise chosen due to superstitious belief.