It’s time to overcome preconceptions about wine that come to us from the distant past. At the time they originated, preconceptions were probably justified. Still, the fact remains that we must allow ourselves the opportunity to consider new points of view and perspectives in order to open the senses and the mind to a freer approach…
Maybe it is because in ancient times they called it Enotria or land of wine, or perhaps because many Italians think they know a lot, but do not like to deepen their knowledge …
…the fact remains that many preconceptions about wine have remained over time, often without reason. If we then add that the agricultural world is by nature conservative, unhinging prejudices becomes a colossal undertaking.
The screw cap
It never really caught on in Italy.
For the Italy of quality wine, the cork is an unquestionable dogma.
If it is true that the cork is strongly recommended for wines subjected to aging. It is equally true that the screw cap is equally valid for vintage wines and guarantees the absence of pesky odours that may affect the wine.
Unfortunately, the screw cap is a rare thing to find among Italian wines. But if you happen to find bottles with this type of cap, do not let yourself be negatively affected by it and take other criteria into account to make your choice.
It’s easy to say Prosecco
In the world of bubbly wines, everything is automatically called Prosecco, especially by foreigners. That’s not so, it sounds good and it’s also easy to pronounce, however the world of bubbly wines is quite vast.
It takes a bit patience and humility to become familiar with it. You can also find some in-depth information on the production method in my blog.
To avoid some confusion, we could start by saying that you can call Prosecco DOC (Controlled Designation of Origin) on the label only the sparkling or semi-sparkling wine produced in the Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia provinces, with the exception of the provinces of Verona and Rovigo.
All the rest of Italian sparkling wine must be called something else, regardless of how famous it is.
This takes nothing away from the quality, which can be excellent even without a great reputation. After all, only a handful of wines are truly famous, compared to the huge variety produced in Italy.
Red wine must be served at room temperature
Behind the word “red” there is a hidden world that translates into vintages, aging, textures, taste and smell sensations. In other words, the world of tasting rejects a priori simple solutions.
So if we want to thoroughly enjoy a specific wine, we should take the trouble to get to know it a bit, understand what we can expect and put it in a position to give its best. After all, “room” temperature is the most variable thing in the world.
To which “room” do we refer?
The maximum recommended temperature for serving full-body red wines is 18⁰ C. Taking into account that, as soon as the wine is poured in the glass, its temperature increases by at least 2° C, this means that the wine can be stored in any room of the house only during the winter months. Then during the rest of the year it must be stored in a cellar or in a suitable refrigerator.
The temperature may be lower for a young wine that has not been aged in a cask, whose variety expresses a medium structure. These red wines can also be recommended for fish dishes, a bit elaborate.
Wine in cans is wine of poor quality
Given that the wine does not get inside the can by itself, in the next few years we will see incredible things! In the United States, the can offered as a lightweight and recyclable container is conquering shares of the market among young and prepared consumers.
The wine contained in cans expresses quality in the choices of viticulture and winemaking, comes from precise varieties and cru, is often organic or even biodynamic and is offered to the consumer at a price around US$ 4-5 per 250-ml can. A fair price, also in terms of consumption and consumer health.
In Europe, all this is very complicated, also partly due to the DOC (Controlled Designation of Origin) rules that exclude containers other than bottles. Although it is widely proven that quality wine can also involve less authoritative appellations, wine struggles to find a proper positioning outside the traditional HoReCa distribution that, for obvious reasons, rejects the can.
It remains to be seen whether the revolution in consumption imposed by Covid-19, which will limit the work of restaurants to the benefit of more private situations, will also pave the way for new types of packaging.
A stranger known as Bag-in-Box
A discussion similar to the “can” topic may be held for the Bag-in-Box: the wine in bulk of the third millennium.
Sold in a vacuum pack, practical, hygienic, very recyclable, it keeps the quality of the wine unchanged.
Appreciated worldwide for its practical 3-litre format, ideal for a family’s consumption, it has never really caught on in Italy, due to the prejudices mentioned above.
It is perfect for simple and convivial moments others, for barbecues, for meetings with friends, for all those times in which “easy drinking” refers not only to the wine, but to the situation in which it is drunk.
White wine is lighter than red wine
If wine is measured in volume alcohol, it is easy to guess that the colour has little influence on the intensity and alcohol content of the bottle. Red or white wines of 12 °alc. are easier to handle than 14 °alc. Moreover, whites are generally served cold and this leads one to perceive them, alcohol content degree being equal, as less intense, but the result does not change.
Colours do not affect the alcohol content of the wine; surely a visual analysis provides us with tools that help us to understand which wines can have a higher or lower colour intensity.
Rosé wine is not a real wine
From a technical standpoint, making a rosé wine is much more complicated than making a red wine.
Nowadays, in Italy, the domestic market prefers to complain rather than to provide consumers with the proper information correctly, so those producers committed to quality can do very little to combat the misinformation.
For those who appreciate it, rosé wine has nothing to envy to its more traditional “colleagues” and the idea that it is a wine only for the summer season is absolutely to be debunked. If you are intrigued by the topic, I offer an enoxperience in a territory suited to rosé wine.
“The best wine”
Lastly, at a tasting it is not a good idea to ask to taste the best wine of a winery. It would mean that in a range, all the other wines have no reason to exist. The “best” wine depends on the occasions during which it is served and consumed, but the “best” wine does not exist.
Is curiosity female?
Among preconceptions about wine, one is that women are not interested and this is partially true, but…
…contrary to the past, more and more women are becoming interested in the world of wine. Moreover, thanks to wine tourism, many more women have found new opportunities to experience wine and become familiar with the producers.
Once again, I invite everyone to take every opportunity to look around, listen, to smell and overcome prejudice…
Wine can be tasted at different levels. At the beginning we are faced with explanations that need be understood, once the information is acquired, new nuances and different levels of perception come about.
Preconceptions about wine are unuseful. Stay alert and let yourself be inspired, be ready to grasp new ideas and scents and, if you feel like it, check with the technical data sheet the reason for your discovery.