by David Beart
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There are several myths that make good wine trivia. These myths
and truths are a great way to quiz your wine loving friends and
give them and yourself and education at the same time. Here are
the top ten wine myths revealed.
1. Aged Wine is Better than Young Wine
Not all wines require aging. In fact, many wines are intended to
be drunk young and they do not require aging. Typically, red
wines that have high tannins are the only wines that require
aging. There are also some white wines that will benefit from
aging, such as Rieslings, but in general they are intended to be
drunk young as well. There are also those wines that taste worse
after being aged and those that will not change much at all.
2. Red Wine Should Never Be Chilled
There are some light reds such as the Beaujolais that will
benefit from being chilled. Beaujolais Nouveau is the first wine
that is made from each year's harvest. The wine was originally
made for the workers of the winery, but the wine quickly spread
in popularity to local bistros. There are several festivals that
are held around the world that celebrate the wine's release.
3. "Reserve" Wines Are Top of the Line
On American labels, "reserve" has no true meaning and is
used at the discretion of the winemaker. The term is often used
to designate a special wine, although the reputation of the
vineyard will often have an effect on the quality and price of
4. Wines With Sulfates Will Give You a Headache
Sulfates only cause headaches in about one percent of the
population and this tends to be those who suffer from asthma.
Sulfates are naturally present in wine and sulfur is abundant in
various forms in all living things. Sulfites are used as a
preservative by winemakers worldwide and only the United States
notes the sulfite warning on the label. The amounts of added
sulfites are small and all whites will have more than reds.
There are several other reasons that you may be having a
headache. These causes may be:
~Histamines: Histamines cause the blood vessels in your brain
to dilate and are higher in red wines than whites. They are
found in aged and fermented foods.
~Tyramines: Found in cultured foods such as cheese and yogurt
as well as ferment foods such as wine, dark beer, soy sauce,
chocolate and a few other foods. Tyramines cause your blood
vessels to constrict.
~Congeners: These are organic compounds that are found in the
by-products of the fermentation process and give wine its
flavor. When they enter your blood stream, the immune system
recognizes them as poisons and releases cytokines to eliminate
them. These are more prevalent in red wines.
~Prostaglandins: These are naturally occurring in your body
and are pain producers. The dilation of the arteries triggers
their release. They may also be responsible for migraine
~Sensitivities to Elements in Wine Production: Some people
are sensitive to certain types of wood while other are sensitive
to the chemicals that are used in a particular area.
5. All German Wines Are Sweet
There are a variety of German wines and they range from dry to
very sweet like wines that are produced in various other
countries. If you see "trocken" on a German wine label it
6. Screw tops Are a Sign of Cheap Wine
More and more wineries are using screw tops so that they may
avoid cork contamination of their wines. Don't be surprised if
you find a high dollar bottle with a screw top.
7. Wines Should Always Breathe
Allowing a wine to breathe is generally only necessary for those
wines that need further aging. Breathing also allows the wine to
be exposed to air and to soften the tannins.
8. All Wines Have the Same Amount of Alcohol
The level of alcohol in a wine depends on the amount of sugar
that has been converted during fermentation. There are also
wines that have been fortified with alcohol to raise the alcohol
9. The More a Wine Costs, the Better It Is
The price of a wine depends on numerous factors. The land of the
vineyard, the price of the packaging, the types of grapes that
are used, how the wine is aged and the reputation of the winery
or winemaker all have an effect on the price of a bottle of
wine. You may find a fairly expensive bottle of wine and think
that it will be good when in fact you wish you hadn't spent so
much on it.
10. Zinfandel is a Pink Wine
Zinfandel is actually a red grape, but the name has become very
popular due to the blush wine, the White Zinfandel. There are
several good red Zinfandels.
About the Author: David Beart is the owner of http://www.professorshouse.com.
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