We all tell little wine lies like, “this is my first glass” or, “this is coffee, not wine, I swear”. Harmless quips, really! But there are handful of alternative wine facts going around that are giving good wines, bad names. It’s time to put these “facts” to rest, once and for all.
Cork Is Greater Than Screw Cap
Corks have been used since the 1400’s, so naturally, tradition plays a massive role in the usage of corks. They are also championed for allowing wines to age slowly, over time. But, there are three major issues with cork: cork is costly, it’s a natural resource and lastly, cork can be unreliable. It’s susceptible to TCA, a taint found in cork that causes wine to lose its fruity aromas and replace them with notes of wet cardboard!
So, what about screwcaps? Well, they have been around since the 1950’s but never gained much traction until the mid-60’s when New Zealand and Australia picked up on the idea and ran with it. Some applaud the simplicity of screw caps (aka Stelvin) while others scoff at their inferiority, assuming only “cheap” wine, unworthy of aging is bottled under Stelvin. While we can’t argue that Stelvin is as romantic as a cork, the seal Stelvin provides is actually tighter than cork, so even less air permeates the seal. Additionally, unlike its counterpart, it can’t be affected by TCA. Plus, they’re inexpensive and easy to make in large quantities.
Chardonnay Is Always Too Oaky
Wine professionals all over the world hear that phrase all too frequently! The caveat with that statement largely needs to be: “I’ve had too many poorly made, over-oaked Chardonnays that gave me a big headache”. What is important to recognize with Chardonnay, is that the grape itself is pretty neutral, and rather impressionable to where the grapes are grown and how the wine is made.
Sunny, warm regions like California often make a Chardonnay that is rich with tropical fruit flavours, these flavours lend well to oak aging. For a while, those oak bombs were massively popular in North America. Conversely, Chardonnay grown in cooler regions, like Burgundy will yield wines with more mineral and citrus driven qualities. If you’re certain you “don’t like Chardonnay” I urge you to try two things: Chablis and (well made) un-oaked Chardonnay. Come see us, we’ll show you the right bottle.
If It’s Pink, It Must Be Sweet
Though mass opinion of Rosé is changing incredibly rapidly, phrases like, “I don’t want anything sweet like a Rosé”, or “no thanks, Rosé is too sweet for me” are heard far too frequently. Rosé, like Chardonnay was given a bad reputation when sweet, White Zinfandel took off. Sweeter style Rosés do exist, but they are the exception, not the rule. Rosés are serious business, don’t let the hue fool you! They make great food pairing wines and any wine shop worth their grapes can help you shop for the right bottle of Rosé!