Say what you will about Donald Trump but there’s no denying that one of his signature catchphrases has become part of the wider English language lexicon:
We used to say that something was wrong or a myth when we didn’t believe in it. Today, millions of people use the term fake news to tell you that they think what they’re hearing is phony.
And just like with any industry, Italian wine has plenty of fake news floating around about it. So, this is your guide to the fake news about wine that you don’t need to listen to anymore.
Fake News #1 – Beer is Better Than Wine in Autumn
We have no idea where this came from, though we can see a certain logic to it.
Beer is a heavier drink than wine in the sense that it’s more calorie-dense. As the months get colder, a lot of people enjoy hibernating at home with a nice bit of stodge to eat and drink. A good and heavy beer is sure to fill the stomach and warm the cockles when the mercury dips.
But that doesn’t mean beer is better than wine for autumn.
And to prove it, we’ll paint you a little picture. Imagine coming home from work after a long day. You’re cold and wet and you want nothing more than to curl up into a ball and have a nice lazy evening.
You pour yourself a bath and pour a glass of red to go alongside it. The next hour is pure relaxation as the water washes over you and the wine warms you up. Another glass follows when you go downstairs to enjoy a nice book or TV show in your warm living room.
That sounds like heaven, right?
And it’s exactly why red wine, in particular, is a better drink than beer for autumn.
Fake News #2 – Red Wine Goes in the Fridge
No, it doesn’t!
At least, not in most cases.
Red wine is best stored in a cool and dark environment. But cool and chilled are too very different things. After all, red wine is best served at somewhere around room temperature, depending on the wine. Chilling it in a fridge means you have to wait even longer for the wine to reach an appropriate drinking temperature.
There’s another reason not to store red wine in the fridge.
The ageing process.
The cooler the temperature, the slower food and drink age. That’s why we use fridges to store produce and perishables. But red wine typically gets better with age, to the point that many bottles only reach their full potential after five or 10 years. Why would you want to slow that down by putting a bottle in the fridge?
Fake News #3 – Wine Always Gets Better with Age
Speaking of ageing, let’s look at another common bit of fake news!
Not all wines get better with age. Some are designed to be consumed soon after production, which is exactly how you should drink them. The best way to find out what type of wine you have is to read up on it before buying. If the wine has low ageing potential, such as one or two years, it isn’t going to get much better with age, if at all.
So, don’t think every bottle of Italian wine you ever buy has to go into storage for years before you can enjoy it. Many wines are ready to go as soon as you get them home.
Fake News #4 – Every Red Wine Needs Decanting
This is something of a mixed bag in terms of fake news.
Generally speaking, decanting helps almost any red wine as it allows you to introduce oxygen to it, thus releasing the wine’s flavours. But that doesn’t mean that every red wine needs decanting.
Those that do typically have a lot of sediment. Decanting allows you to avoid drinking the stuff you don’t want to have in your glass of wine. But many reds only need a little bit of exposure to oxygen to express their flavours, which means that opening the bottle and pouring is often enough.
Fake News #5 – Wine Gives You Worse Hangovers Than Other Drinks
Alcohol is what gives you hangovers. If you drink the same amount of alcohol from beer as you do from wine, you’re going to get the same type of hangover. There is nothing in wine that contributes to any sort of hangover-worsening effect.
Of course, we always recommend moderating your drinking, which should help you avoid hangovers altogether. But on those nights when drinking gets away from you a little bit, make sure to also drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated and reduce the effects of the morning after.
Fake News #6 – Blended Wines Are Inferior
We’re not exactly sure where this bit of fake news came from. Our best guess is that whoever started spreading it believes that wines should be completely pure and only represent a single grape.
We say that’s nonsense.
Removing blending from the wine industry means there’s no room for experimentation. And that means some truly wonderful wines never get the chance to be made.
Now, don’t get us wrong. We love single grape wines too because they do express the full qualities of the grape they’re dedicated to. But blending allows producers to play around with flavours and textures in interesting ways, often leading to the creation of some superb wines.
All we’re saying is don’t turn your nose up at a wine that contains multiple grape varieties. You may just miss out on a classic.
The Final Word
Fake news is everywhere, ironically more so in the information era. We have access to some much information that it’s no surprise that some of it is just flat-out wrong.
Now, you know a little more about the fake news that circulates the wine industry. All that’s left is to get your hands on a great bottle of Italian wine. Xtrawine is at your service with thousands of wines available from all over the world.
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