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Debunking wine myths: What to look out for

Why they may not be true after all....

Debunking wine myths

Myth: Wine legs mean a better wine

wine legs

Do legs or ‘tears’ mean better quality? Credit: Credit: PhotoAlto sas / Alamy Stock Photo

The reality is that ‘legs tell you relatively little about the wine’, says Matt Walls.

Myth: Putting a spoon in Champagne keeps it fizzy

spoon in champagne

Credit: Gunter Kirsch / Alamy Stock Photo

Really, there’s no evidence that proves this. You’re better off using a Champagne stopper.

Myth: Sulphites cause hangovers

Sulfur dioxide

Although a few people are allergic to sulphites, in most cases, hangovers are caused by dehydration from alcohol, not the sulphites in the wine.

Myth: A wine punt means a better quality wine

wine bottles punt

This is not a universal rule, and some styles – like Riesling, for example – never have a punt.

Myth: White wine doesn’t go with red meat

red meat with white wine, cordon bleu

Red meat with white wine? Do it, says Matthieu Longuère MS. Credit: Le Cordon Bleu London

Take other factors in to consideration – like acidity, age, oak – rather than just the colour of the wine.

Myth: Only white wine pairs with fish 

james bond, wine quote, decanter

‘Red wine with fish. Well, that should have told me something.’ James Bond in ‘From Russia with Love’ in 1963. Credit: Pen.

Again, there are other factors to consider. The main rule is don’t go for anything too tannic with fish.

Myth: Pale rosé wine is better

pairing rosé wines with food

Pale, delicate coloured roses from Provence have grown in popularity, and it’s become a trend for winemakers to try and keep the colour very pale. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that deeper coloured roses are worse quality wines.

Myth: Red wine should only be served room temperature

best reds to chill

Credit: Mike Prior/ Annabelle Sing/ Decanter

There are plenty of lighter style red wines that benefit from being lightly chilled – especially in the summer months.

Myths: All Champagne should be kept to age

Champagne cellar

Credit: Cath Lowe / Decanter

Non-Vintage Champagne is generally made to be ready-to drink. Our experts say you can keep it a couple of years but not much longer. Vintage Champagnes are the ones that benefit from some cellaring.

Find more wine questions answered here. 


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