10 Myths about Wine Debunked

In the minds of many, wine brings with it all kinds of rules and no-nos, fancy etiquette and arcane procedures. However, wine is just an alcoholic drink, and we like to keep things simple at BWU$20. So we’ve shot down some persistent urban myths, which will make wine much easier to enjoy.

  • You have to know a lot about wine to appreciate it

You only need to like the smell and taste of wine to enjoy it.

  • Screw Caps have made wine faults a problem of the past

Screw caps have only solved faults related to cork taint.

  • Once you open a bottle of wine, you must finish it or it will go off

White wine wine keeps well in the fridge for days, and reds will last a couple of days in a cool place with the screw cap on. That said, some really cheap wines can fall apart more quickly.

  • You can’t buy good wine for less than $10

We’ve built a website on the premise that you can – here’s the shortlist

  • You must drink red wine with meat, white wine with fish

It’s just a rule of thumb, not a law. If you like red wine with fish and white wine with steak, go right ahead. If someone has a go at you, tell them that the chateaux in the Sauternes serve their sweet wines with pâté de foie gras and blue vein cheeses. In Champagne, they serve bubbles with everything.

  • Wine tastes better with age

Depends on the type of wine, and on your taste. Most people like their whites young and crisp, and most wine buffs keep their reds too long. Most red wines today are made for early drinking (2 – 5 years), but Grange needs a few decades to hit its stride. Rieslings, Semillons and Chardonnays all fill out and soften given more time.

  • Red wine is best served at room temperature

Correct, as long as room temperature is around 18 degrees Celsius.

  • Cheese and red wine are the perfect match

Hard cheeses tend to go better with big or aged white wines, camembert and brie go better with a rich Pinot Gris, and blue cheese goes well with dessert wines.

  • Red wines must always be decanted

Most red wines don’t throw a crust anymore, so decanting just helps to aerate the wine. That can be helpful with young reds.

  • You need a cellar to store wine for any length of time

A room or garage not subject to sudden changes in temperature will do if you store the wine in insulated cardboard boxes – see our Rough Guide to Cellaring Wine.  

Let’s not get hung up in two many rules – wine is a very adaptable drink.