Most Common Wine Myths, Debunked

Myths and urban legends exist in every culture. Elaborate stories are told, and somehow, somewhere, people come to see them as true and pass them along. Was Mr. Rogers really a Navy SEAL? Was a woman really buried alive at the local cemetery?

Similarly, a range of myths and tall tales exist in wine culture. You might have heard of “wine o’clock,” or the saying “Wine doesn’t improve with age; I improve with wine.” These humorous little phrases are the wine community’s way of poking fun at some of the myths associated with the subject. To set the record straight, here are five wine myths that should be dispelled.

Expensive Wine is Better Wine

There are many reasons other than taste that people buy an expensive bottle of wine. A fancy bottle of wine shows your friends that you have good taste, that you are cultured, but most of all, it shows that you have big bucks and can afford something that will be finished in just a few hours. When it comes to flavor, however, everyone has a different palate and a different nose. Some people will taste apples in their wine where others will taste lemons.

Even wine experts will tell you that when buying a bottle of wine, price should not be a consideration. Just because an expert gave a wine 90-plus points does not mean you that will have the same experience as he did. Who knows? Maybe you won’t even like it.

Here are some tips on how to pick a good bottle of wine without looking at price:

Hit the web. If you love chardonnay, do a little research, read reviews, and find a wine you’d like to buy.
Wine corks and empty wine bottles aren’t just for making crafts. If you find a good wine and it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, keep the cork or the bottle as a reminder of what you liked. Or start a list of “Must Buy Again” wines.
It’s all about location, location, location. Get to know the wine areas of the world. Some hot and relatively cheap wines are coming out from Spain, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, and New Zealand. Go back to the web and find one or two you would like to try.1

Organic Wine Contains No Sulfites

You might have seen the “No Sulfites Added” label on wine bottles. This does not mean the wine contains no sulfites. Also, do not confuse this with the “Contains Sulfites” label. Sulfites are compounds that are naturally produced in the fermentation process. All wines – no exception – contain sulfites. Many winemakers will add extra sulfites to prevent wine from oxidizing quicker. Adding sulfites will also help stabilize a wine and keep it from spoiling before you take a sip. Organic wines, on the other hand, do not have additional sulfites. What many people do not know is that most U.S. wines average 125 ppm, which is a lot lower than the maximum sulfite level of 350 ppm. This is also considerably lower than wines from just 100 years ago. Thank you, modern technology! Organic wines, though, only contain 10-20 ppm, a result of only natural sulfites.2