So many wine myths, so little time. Here are a few lesser-known myths that can save you money as well as time.
Wine Myth #1: If the wine tastes ok, it’s not bad
Don’t let your taste buds fool your nasal passage. If the wine smells bad, it is bad. If you have to hold your nose to drink a wine then recork it and take it back to the store. Or make the lazy waiter go get another bottle. Save your money because no amount of sipping will overcome the smell of a bad wine.
Wine Myth #2: Bottles must be finished the same night
Sure, oxygen is a wine killer and will eventually turn a wine to vinegar, but in fact, that bottle might just taste better the next day. Especially a heavy red wine that you spent good money on. Well-made wines can be drinkable for days after being left on a dim kitchen counter. Keep that wine around and try blending it with something else, which leads me to the next myth.
That bottle of wine may taste exactly the way the winemaker intended, but who’s stopping you from improving it by blending it? Wine blending can often turn a off-kilter wine into a drinkable one – like when you add fruity viognier to a tannic shiraz – or can turn a decent merlot into a great bordeaux after adding a little cabernet. Wine blending is a fun drinking game for experimental palates. And if you have a few short bottles left over from last nights party, pour them together and recork to save for another day. Like money in a bank.
It used to be that silly, sexy or animalist wine labels were the sign of quickly produced, unbalanced, cheap wines made by mass producers. Some of them, I wouldn’t have wanted to be seen holding. These days though, even the most august wineries are producing affordably-priced lines with fun wine labels to appeal to the younger generation, but without scrimping on the quality. Local grape gluts certainly help this situation. So when it comes to value, who’re you going to trust: the wine or your lying eyes?
Once the signature enclosure of cheap plonk, modern screwcaps are, in my opinion, the best invention since the glass bottle. By taking the muss and fuss out of opening a wine bottle, screwcaps have probably saved a million wrists, as many hours and a lot of money. And knowing that every single bottle will not have cork taint is a huge relief to those who can detect a bad wine. Environmentally, screwcaps are probably no worse than plastic corks, which are infinitely more difficult to pull and even harder to recork. As for quality, wineries that use screwcaps are among the most prestigious in the world. Dig it.