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Wine Secrets
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Trade Secrets - Wine Myths
Myth: You should uncork a bottle of wine to let it breathe a little before pouring it. Truth: Merely uncorking a bottle of wine only exposes the surface of the liquid in the bottle neck to air, so the amount of aeration is minimal. This will have no perceivable effect on the wine. Instead, decant it to aerate it. Wine Myths

Trade Secrets - Wine Myths
Myth: The finer the bubbles, the better the bubbly. Truth: Bubble size has no bearing on the quality of Champagne nor any other sparkling wine. Much research has been done on the subject recently, particularly by Gérard Liger-Belair, associate professor of physical sciences at the University of Reims Champagne- Ardenne in the heart of the Champagne region. Turns out, the temperature of the wine, as well as the size of the impurities and faults on the inside of the wine glass, all affect the size of the bubbles. The warmer the Champagne, the larger and more frequent the bubbles. And without faults or impurities on the glass, such as microscopic streaks left by a dishtowel, Champagne looks like perfectly still white wine that, when drank, feels fizzy.

Trade Secrets - Wine Myths
Myth: Drink red wine with cheese and meat, and whites with fish and poultry. Truth: There are many exceptions to this overused rule. Fuller-bodied white wines as well as sweet ones can be delicious with cheese. Red wine from Pinot Noir grapes can be excellent with turkey. And a light-bodied red such as Beaujolais or another well-made Gamay goes very well with chicken.

Trade Secrets - Wine Myths
Myth: Gewürztraminer and Asian foods are a perfect match. Truth: This aromatic, full-bodied wine would overpower any of the mild cornerstones of Asian cuisine such as dim sum, tempura, or sashimi. Plus, Gewürztraminer is notoriously lacking in acidity, which is the cleansing agent in wine needed to refresh the palate for many of the other staples of Asian cuisine—fried tempura, oily duck, or fatty tuna belly known as toro fish.

Trade Secrets - Wine Myths
Myth: Vintage charts dictate good and bad wines. Truth: Completely good and bad vintages don't exist. Wine regions typically charted in vintage guides are huge geographic areas where weather varies so some producers experience great conditions in socalled poor vintages. Also, a highly acclaimed vintage is no guarantee of quality because grape growing and winemaking practices influence the quality of the wine as much as weather does. Use vintage charts as a general guide only, if at all.

Trade Secrets - Wine Myths
Myth: If it's popular, it must be good. Truth: Just because it sells well doesn't mean it's delicious. A prime example is Pinot Grigio. In 2003, Pinot Grigio was the bestselling imported white wine in the U.S., according to the trade publication Impact Databank. Yet, at best, it's merely inoffensive and bland. Pinot Grigio tastes vaguely of citrus. It's a light, neutral wine. Perhaps the collective North American palate got so weary of big, heavy, oaked Chardonnay, that Pinot Grigio refreshed tired palates with its light, clean style. For a similarly crisp, clean style, look to Chablis or Muscadet from France; Müller-Thurgau from Austria, Britain, or Canada; or Silvaner from Germany, all of which offer a little more flavor and all the freshness.

Trade Secrets - Wine Myths
Myth: You only decant red wine. Truth: Many white wines of distinction, such as Sauternes, or white Burgundies from better properties also benefit from decanting because the aeration brings out their aromas and flavors.

Trade Secrets - Wine Myths
Myth: Champagne doesn't age well. Truth: Good quality Champagne ages extremely well. One of the most mesmerizing wines I've ever tasted was a 1970 Cristal, courtesy of Champagne Louis Roederer. Unforgettable. Tasted when it was thirty-two years old in London, England, the wine was a charming kiss of brioche and cooked apple with layers of nuts, fresh bread, crème caramel, lacy acidity, and a long, lively finish. Sublime.

Trade Secrets - Wine Myths
Myth: Blended wine is poor quality. Truth: Though sometimes a wine from one type of grape can be very good, blending two or more varieties can produce better balance, complexity, and harmony. In fact, wine laws in most places allow wines labeled as a single grape variety to be seasoned with other types of grapes to let winemakers blend for balance.

Trade Secrets - Wine Myths
Myth: The Old World makes better wine than the NewWorld.Truth: Both the Old and New Worlds make good and bad wines and although they traditionally made very different styles of wine, overlap is starting to occur. Buying the best wine comes down to understanding your personal taste, choosing wine styles that appeal to you, and buying wines from trusted, quality-minded producers.

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  • Trade Secrets - Wine Myths
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