November 19, 2013
When I joined Coravin in June of this year, I was a blank slate. Over the past five months working here, I have been exposed to the world of wine; a world, I have discovered, that is more extensive and complex than I could have imagined. Learning about wine is intimidating to those of us who cannot pinpoint the origin and exact varietal of any given wine like a master of wine, but as I’ve discovered over the past several months, it does not have to be so.
We created a Beginner’s Series on our blog for those of us who are not experts, but want to learn more about wine and the enjoyment of wine. To kick off this series, I want to start with the basics, and help debunk some common myths and misconceptions regarding wine and its consumption. As a novice myself, I set out to find the top misconceptions about wine, and with the help of some internet research and the expertise of several Coravin coworkers (including our inventor and founder, Greg), I have some tips for our beginner blog readers!
1. Red wine should be served at room temperature.
- False. According to most experts, red wine is best served around 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit. “Room temperature” was at one time an accurate description for the temperature at which red wine is best served – back before the invention of indoor heating systems, when “room temperature” was that low!
2. All wine needs to be decanted or to “breathe” before drinking it.
- Not necessarily true. Many experts agree that most wine can benefit from decanting. However, there is a similar consensus that you can just as easily ruin a bottle of wine by decanting it too much.
3. Red wine with red meat, white wine with chicken and fish.
- Not always. From what I can understand, this is a good rule of thumb. Bold reds with gamier red meats, and lighter whites with lighter white fish. However, depending on how a dish is prepared, the flavor profile can vary, requiring a different wine pairing. For example, fattier fish like tuna or salmon can often go well with a red with softer tannins like Pinot Noir, while some pork dishes are paired well with a dry Riesling or a Pinot Gris.
4. Wine gets better with age.
- Not usually. I think this is one of the more common myths about wine consumption. In reality, more than 90% of the world’s wine production is meant to be consumed within 1-2 years. Only about 10% of the world’s wine production actually will benefit from aging.
5. You need to be an expert to appreciate wine.
- Clearly this is untrue. I am no expert, but I certainly enjoy wine. And I’m really enjoying learning about wine. Working at Coravin has given me the opportunity to dive headfirst into wine, as an industry, as a culture, as a lifestyle. The only way to learn is to just start drinking!