Everyone loves a tipple at this time of year, but drinking myths abound across the liquid landscape of wine.
So just how do you enjoy a glass of wine? The New Daily asked Matt Harrop, Winemaker at Shadowfax and The Silent Way, and Gavin Cremming, Head Sommelier at Melbourne’s the Stokehouse, for their expert opinions.
Myth: Serve red wines warm, white wines cold
Those are old world rules, according to Mr Harrop, who suggests we look at our climate.
If you’ve got your reds sitting at room temperature on a summer’s day then you do have to pop them in the fridge to cool them down to 18 degrees.
Mr Cremming agrees, saying that 17-19 degrees allows the fruit to be at its “brightest and optimum state” for reds.
“Tell this to your dads,” he says, who appear to be the greatest wine crime offenders on this point.
In turn, he says not to serve white wine any colder than 10 degrees “because it can make your wine too cold to taste – like if you were to lick your freezer and then try and eat something”.
Myth: Glassware is important
“There is a bit of science behind this,” says Mr Harrop.
“A bigger glass delivers more wine onto your tongue and allows you to smell the flavour retro-nasally!”
A champagne flute, meanwhile, has a smaller surface area and so helps retain the fizz for longer.
However, Mr Cremming says that some wines don’t need a big glass.
“I suggest taking these ones to picnics where a plastic glass can match the drink just perfectly.”
Myth: Serve white wines with fish, red wines with meat
“Not necessarily,” says Mr Cremming.
“A famous wine pairing is Meursault [Chardonnay from Burgundy] with Steak Tartare, while Pinot Noir and Barramundi can sit nicely together.”
Mr Harrop agrees. He says pairings are a personal choice. “For too long there have been too many rules, which have been intimidating. As long as you are drinking you are doing your national duty.”
Myth: You get what you pay for
“Up to a point,” says Mr Harrop.
“You can probably taste a $6 bottle but the difference between a $20 and $50 wine is much narrower. But certainly don’t waste your money on Grange because you are paying for a whole lot of marketing spin.”
Mr Cremming believes knowledge is power.
“The more you know, the better chance you have of finding the best value. Just like clothes, like anything, if you choose something because you know the name and not the quality, then you may end up paying more than you should.”
Myth: Rosé is the new black
“In the past Rosé was a bit of an afterthought. Winemakers tossed together left-over grapes, but now it’s the fastest growing sector and grapes are grown specifically,” says Harrop.
Cremming, like Harrop, believes Rosé goes hand in hand with Australia’s warmer weather.
Mr Harrop says Rose is best served with prawns and salad. Plus, Mr Cremming adds, real men drink Rose – just so you know.