Author: Ryan | This is the first post in a series called Wine About It
In my years on this planet, not many things have interested me as much as wines. Their elegant bouquets, the rich look of ruby in the glass and of course, the wonderful and varied tastes that can come from the hard work of winemakers.
I’m Ryan and I’ve been enjoying and learning about wines for over 10 years now. During this time I’ve been fortunate to meet a number of winemakers and enjoy many of the best (and worst) wines. I’m passionate about wine mainly because I’m always amazed by how one single thing (wine) could be so different in so many different ways. I’ve noticed that people are often fearful of getting started with wines or have misconceptions about wine that deters them from getting started with it. In this introductory piece, I’d like to dispel 5 common myths about wine for you budding connoisseurs and hopefully quell some of your fears!
Myth #1: Only expensive wines can be considered good.
I keep quite a few bottles of wine in my place at all times. The majority of those wines I classify as “everyday” wines. The price of an everyday wine will vary based on your budget, but I personally try to keep it around the 7-8 dollar per bottle range. Many domestic wines fall within this price range, and are very tasty. For instance, Redwood Creek makes an amazing Pinot Grigio that can be enjoyed for about 7 dollars a bottle. Their reds are good and inexpensive too, although definitely require some aeration (bottle left open or ‘decanted’ awhile prior to drinking to allow air to permeate the wine). If your budget allows it, there are many phenomenal wines that can be had for 25 dollars or less, such as the Ezio Voyat ‘La Gazzella’ Bianco Secco, one of my new favorite whites.
Myth #2: Champagne (or sparkling wines) should only be consumed on New Year’s or other celebrations.
Definitely not. Many Champagnes and other sparkling wines pair excellently with food. They’re also delightful to have while sitting outside with friends on a warm spring or summer afternoon. Don’t pigeonhole bubbles to just celebrations, they need love too!
Myth #3: Find a wine you like and stick to only that one.
It took a long time to break several friends of this habit. What would you do if you ate the same food every day? Exactly, you’d grow bored of it, and that can happen with wine too. Explore new wines, go outside of your comfort zone, have a wine tasting party with friends. You might be surprised what you like!
Myth #4: All avid wine consumers are snobs.
With the popularity and consumption of wines on the rise, more and more average people are getting actively involved in the wine community. This is creating demand for more informal wine events such as tastings and winery tours. If you can’t find an informal group or events in your area – get some friends together and have wine tasting parties yourselves (look for an article about this in the future)!
Myth #5: The best wines only come from France or Italy.
Without discounting the depth and complexity of great Italian and French wines, more and more countries are building vineyards and wineries every year and delivering some stupendous wines in their various native varietals (a wine made primarily a single type of grape). The best thing about these currently unpopular wines is that they can be extremely good for a fraction of the price of a similar French or Italian wine. For instance, Casillero del Diablo (translated: Cellar of the Devil), a Chilean wine producer, makes a very good Merlot that can easily be categorized as an “everyday” wine and can stand up against some Italian Merlots.
I hope that by dispelling these myths, I’ve helped spark your interest in enjoying different wines. My personal rule about enjoying wine is to drink what you like, but always be willing to try new ones. You never know what you might enjoy until you try it! Keep an eye out for my next article where I’ll give a basic primer on attending wine tastings, including the proper way to “taste” wines.