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The Facts Everyone Gets Wrong About Wine

Common questions about wine service and etiquette:-
  • the right temperature for red and white, 
  • how long the wine needs to “breathe,” 
  • what exactly is a corked bottle, 
  • why we use descriptors like flowers, fruit and bizarre words such as "tar" and "forest floor" to talk about wine....
are all typical concerns for guys who love wine. That’s because when it comes to appreciating wine, there is as much myth as there is truth. Here’s a little cheat sheet to help you become an expert on the mysteries of wine.


What's the deal with "aromas" in wine?


Just because descriptors of fruits, flowers, spices, and vegetables are often used to differentiate wines does not mean that these actual products or their artificial flavour were ever added to the wine.

Type of grape, combined with soil type and wine making technique, are what create specific aromas in wine.

Descriptors are simply a way to characterize a wine’s overall aromatic style. With time and practice you will soon be able to identify aromas and thus crack wine “lingo.” What may have once seemed like a fabrication of wine tasting, like detecting notes of dried leaves and rose petals, will soon become second nature.

Ultimately, you’ll come to know what you like and how to find it on an otherwise intimidating wine list. And who knows? Maybe you’ll end up sharing a bottle with that spicy, eccentric brunette.

Look out for these commonly used descriptors:
  • FRUIT: Apple, cherry, plum, grapefruit, lemon
  • NON-FRUIT: Violets, thyme, nutmeg, green pepper, tomato vine
  • EARTH/MINERAL: Forest floor, mushroom, limestone, wet stone
  • OAKINESS: Cinnamon, vanilla, smoke, nut


Here are some ideal temperatures:

  • SPARKLING: 6-8 degrees Celsius 
  • WHITE WINE: 9-11 degrees Celsius 
  • LIGHT-BODIED REDS & FULL-BODIED WHITES: 12-13 degrees Celsius 
  • MEDIUM-BODIED REDS: 14-16 degrees Celsius 
  • FULL-BODIED REDS: 17-18 degrees


Why does wine need to be decanted?

Decanting, or pouring wine out of the bottle into another wine-holding receptacle like your wine glass, for example, is the process of “breathing” or oxygenating a wine to help its aromas and textures open up by transferring the wine from the bottle to a decanter. To decant or not decant is often an arguable topic, but there are a few situations when you can count on it to help open the wine to its full potential.

Older wine can also adapt and develop musky aromas, and decanting will help waken up the fruitier side of the wine. Bear in mind that wine becomes more delicate with age, so when decanting aged bottles, go slow a fast pour could overexpose the wine to oxygen and potentially ruin the wine.

A younger wine, on the other hand, can also benefit from decanting. A young Malbec can initially taste tight and overly tannic, like a mouthful of rocks. Letting it sit in the decanter for an hour or so can help soften it to make it more enjoyable


On the other hand, despite its age, you may simply enjoy the look of liquid red velvet in a beautiful glass decanter, and that’s just as good of a reason to decant.





The enjoyment of wine happens from the moment you select a bottle to the last sip. Hopefully, learning the truth about common wine myths can help you embrace the journey. From the first taste of apples in a perfectly chilled wine to the last drop from the decanter, your wine experience is uniquely yours.



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