Stupid Things People Say About Wine

Roberto Viernes
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Wednesday - May 11, 2011
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Top 10 stupid things people say about wine.

* “The bigger the legs, the better the wine.” the legs, more appropriately called the “tears” of a wine, present themselves on the glass after it is swirled. As the wine falls down, the sheeting action separates alcohol from the water. if the legs or tears are thicker, it indicates the wine has higher alcohol. but we all know that just because wine has more alcohol does not mean it is better. right?

* “Wine should be served at room temperature.” Whose room are you talking about? is it air conditioned or not? is the wine red, white or sparkling? is it sweet or dry? is it young or old? Does the room happen to be the kitchen with the stove on? each wine has an optimum temperature for drinkability, so it depends on the wine and the room.

* “You can tell if the wine is good by looking at the bottle.” i should have asked that person if he ever heard the adage “never judge a book by its cover.” Going even further, i also had someone tell me that he could tell if the wine was good if it had punt in the bottle or not. For real!

* “Screw cap wines are cheap and crappy.” Hello! Anyone home? Where have you been for the past 10 years? there are some great wines bottled in screw caps these days, and it’s not because it is cheaper. Do you know how much it costs to buy a bottling machine, only to have to buy a new one that does screw caps? Depending on the size, it can run to around a cool million bucks.

* “Champagne doesn’t age.” oK, then why are they auctioning off bottles of veuve Clicquot found at the bottom of the ocean from the 1830s? Champagne can age just as well as great still wines. it loses its effervescence but gains in flavor and complexity.

* “I get a headache when i drink ...” Yes, you could be allergic to certain things in wine - sulfur and tannin are some of the culprits. but usually it’s because you didn’t drink enough water while you drank the wine, or you drank too much and that gave you the headache. it was the alcohol in it that gave you that headache.

* “You can tell if a wine is corked by smelling the cork.” Actually, you can tell if a wine is corked by smelling the wine. Cork smells like cork. i learned that the hard way as i was checking some wines before pouring them at a tasting and i smelled the cork. it smelled fine, but the wine i poured was still corked. How embarrassing.

* “The darker the color in the wine, the more flavor it has.” so untrue. Winemakers can make a barrel of white wine into red just by adding a few drops of grape color concentrate and it wouldn’t add a single atom of flavor. Flavor is so much more than color. some grapes have thin skins and others thick, but it doesn’t mean the thinner-skinned grapes lack any flavor.

* “White wines are only for wimps.” Well, i guess i’m a wimp and so are millions of others who love great white wines like braunberger Juffer sonnenuhr riesling, Montrachet, Les Clos, Hermitage blanc, Corton Charlemagne, Graves blanc, sancerre ... shall i go on?

* “They all taste the same.” really? When anyone says this, it means they are not really paying attention or they drink so much at one time that their palate is completely blasted. i’m sure if anyone actually sat down and tasted a Cabernet next to a Pinot noir, they would instantly be able to tell that there is a difference. even within varietals, there is so much diversity and variety. i guess all sodas taste the same too? recommendations: 2008 Pine Ridge Dijon Clone Chardonnay ($29) this is the perfect wine for lovers of buttery, round and ripe Chardonnay, with loads of vanillin and butterscotch - undeniably rich. 2009 Chamisal stainless Chardonnay ($14) Lots of ripe almost tropical fruit, but unleaded (unoaked) so it drinks lighter, is more refreshing, and is terrific with salads and any shellfish.

Roberto Viernes is a master sommelier. E-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
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