Wine writing by Stas Medvedev

12 Wine Mistakes and Myths

The article talks about 12 common mistakes and misconceptions, which are often accepted by consumers, buying wine in the store, ordering in a restaurant or just enjoying at home.

1. Opinion that screw cap is a sign of cheap wine

Myth about screw cap
Myth about screw cap

Entrenched stereotype of screw caps. Those times have long passed and it is time to abandon it.
The screw cap is not exposed to the risk of cork disease. Many serious high-quality wines of the New World are released today with a screw cap. It is getting more common among the producers of the Old World, for example, in Germany and Austria. It was also crossed by some reputable French winemakers. The famous Chateau Margaux in Bordeaux continues the experiment where the great wines of the castle have been kept in cellars under a screw cap for 15 years and experts look forward to the results.

2. Savings on Budget wines

What is the cost of wine on the shelf
What is the cost of wine on the shelf

Spending in excess of about 5 euros can be a game changer. The retail price of bottles besides the cost of wine “contains” taxes, excises, margin of importers and the seller’s markup. If you buy wine up to 12 euros, then sometimes adding 5 euros, you double the amount that goes directly to the wine. By spending a little more, get a much greater return on the amount invested.
Try moving from category of 10 euros to category of 15.

If your budget is seriously limited, it is easier to drink beer))

Wine is an expensive beverage in production and there are many alternative options for everyday drink. The wine is more of a pleasure.

3. Buy wine focusing only on familiar varieties of grapes and brands

People are insecure in their own taste and therefore we are often conservative.

Today the wine market offer a wide range of choices. If you are looking for an interesting wine for a good price, then pay attention to the less well-known names, grape varieties or even regions. That’s a practical way to find something valuable.

Some people are simply intimidated by wine. In the market there is a competition, an abundance of companies of importers where competent buyers specializing in different regions work. We are sure that you can afford to be a little bolder and more adventurous!

4. Do not buy wine in specialty wine shops

If you need an additional motivation to open something new, you should go to a specialized wine shop, rather than going again to the wine department of the nearest supermarket.

People fear that in such shops wine is more expensive or it will be more difficult to choose. Talk to a specialist (cavist), expressly specify the purpose of the purchase: you are looking for wine to a specific dish for dinner or want to try something new, tell what wines you prefer and you will definitely get help and advice.

5. Opinion that cheap whites are worse than cheap reds

If you are sensitive to tannins, the cheap red may seem excessively aggressive due to tannins or will be unbalanced. At least in white there is no problem with tannins — they are not there.

In fact, there are not that many really bad wines out there, but there is a huge number of boring wines.

6. Not asking the bartender about the offer of wines

When ordering wine in the bar by the glass ask what are the alternative offers. Usually bars offer several options to choose from. If the bartender pours a glass of wine without specifying, it is a sign of a non-serious attitude of the bar and then it is better to go for gin and tonic.

7. Refuse when the waiter offers to try the wine

Tasting wine in the restaruant
Tasting wine in the restaruant

Some are confused by the waiter’s offer, considering it superfluous ritual of courtesy and prefer to just skipt it. However, it is a chance to make sure that the wine is not faulty. Wine may be corked or there could be storage defects. In that case, it must be replaced.

Pay attention to the suspicious musty or fungi smells of a damp wet rag or basement. Do not hesitate to refuse such wine.

8. Overfill the glass of wine

Often people pour too much wine into a glass. It’s not worth it being greedy. Pour no more than a ⅓ glass. The wine should have enough free space in the glass for the development of aromas. White wine can quickly warm up in a glass, so it is better to pour it in small portions from a chilled bottle.

Red wines can breathe in a glass if they leave enough space.

9. Drink red wine too warm and white too cold

The overchilled wine loses its balance and feels excessive acidic. The colder the wine, the more difficult it is to notice its aromas and flavours.

If you miss with white cheap wine, then it is better to cool it down to the maximum))

In too warm reds alcohol is more present, therefore it is not necessary to overheat it above the cool room temperature. Lighter reds are better to serve even slightly chilled, especially in the summer.

10. Store wine in upright position

If you decide to put away a bottle of wine for a special occasion, which will come in a few weeks or even months, then put the bottle horizontally (exception-bottles with a screw cap) in a dark cool place without any odors (not in the regular fridge!). Not necessarily the wine should be cooled, much more important is the absence of extreme temperature changes.

For storage of serious and mature age wines it is necessary to arrange a proper storage with the controlled humidity level and temperature.

For most wines a simple stand in a cool dark place will be just fine.

11. Storing Open Bottle for Too Long

There’s nothing bad about leaving a bottle not empty. Plug the cork and refrigerate. Most of the white wines would live for 1–2 days, and the red ones would last for 2–3. Dessert and fortified, where the increased content of alcohol and sugar works as a preservative, stored much longer (a week or even more).

12. Be shy to use proven wine applications

Specialized wine apps (i.e. Vivino, CellarTracker, WineSearcher, Delectable) with tens of millions of active users allow to check the adequacy of the price of wine on the shelf and learn the user rating. Armed with these effective tools you will get all the necessary consumer information about a particular bottle. Scanning wine shelves, be sure to find something new and interesting at a reasonable price.

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