For the uninitiated, wine can be a mysterious, even uncomfortable topic. And the fact that it has been traditionally marketed as a luxury good does not help. Historically, however, wine was enjoyed even by everyday people. Today, wine continues to reach more people as wine producers come up with cheaper packaging alternatives (hello, wine boxes!) and more wine for everyone to enjoy.
What seems to have a hard time going away, though, are common misconceptions about wine. Below are five of them that you need to let go of.
Cork bottles were traditionally used for wine. Screw-cap wine bottles, on the other hand, were first introduced in the 1950s. The belief that wine in cork bottles is better than wine in screw-caps probably stems from traditional thinking – that wine must come from a cork bottle. This, of course, is utterly baseless since there is no difference in the way wine develops and ages in either type of bottle. In fact, it has been proven that screw-caps protect wine from oxidation better than cork bottles.
The misguided belief that pricey wine is always superior can be a fault of marketing. The fact that we attach more value to luxury or branded goods attests to this. However, there is no conclusive proof to support the claim that expensive wine tastes better.
Research has proven that people have no idea whether a wine they tasted is expensive or not. There’s also proof that when people were told they just sampled expensive wine, they claimed to enjoy it even when the various wines they tasted all belonged to the same price range. What ultimately tastes better is what agrees with your mood, food, and palate.
The main reason behind the lower prices with boxed wines is the savings on packaging and shipping. Wine producers know that if they cut corners in terms of quality, their products simply won’t thrive. Boxed wine is actually convenient to carry around, and since it comes in bigger sizes, it’s also ideal for the consumption of bigger groups of people.
The groove or dimple at the bottom of wine bottles is called a punt or kick-up. And for years, people have theorized what it is meant to do, including the belief that it is an indicator of superior quality. These days, however, that assumption appears to be baseless. Besides, the most practical use identified for the punt is using it as a place to rest the thumb while the other fingers hold the base of the wine bottle.
For the longest time, people blindly entrusted their wine purchasing decisions to so-called wine experts. While there’s no questioning that there are people who are very knowledgeable about wine, your taste is not necessarily inferior to theirs.
In fact, one study was done to check the consistency in the tastes of wine competition judges. The same judges were asked to grade the same bottle of wine for three years without knowing it was the same wine. Several years after the start of the study, it was found that only 10 percent of the judges had consistent tastes.
Ultimately, the best judge of what a good wine is is you.
Want to explore the wonderful world of wine on this side of the world? Why not join one of our Temecula wine tours so you can discover real wine facts while enjoying this delightful beverage?