Wine Myths That Need Shattering (by Matt Kramer)

Posted: December 6, 2012 by wynmaker in Oenology, Tasting, Vinification, Wine, Winemaking, World wine news
Tags: , ,

winemyth5

 

Some wine nonsense never seems to disappear

 

A fellow came up to me the other day and said, “How long do you think such-and-such wine will live?”

My initial impulse was to reply, “How the hell do I know?” But that, of course, is hardly what he wanted to hear.

So I blathered on about cellaring conditions (cold slows maturation), cultural differences in taste (the French and Italians prefer younger wines while the English like their wines well-aged) and, finally, the sheer impossibility of predicting the life trajectory of any wine.

I should have saved my breath. “I don’t think the wine has structure,” he said, full of self-assurance. That, he asserted, was the predictor of longevity.

Where does this stuff come from? And, more important, why does it persist? It’s astonishing how certain beliefs are the undead of wine, forever resurrected and roaming about. For example:

The Structure Myth. Structure is no more a predictor of a wine’s future “career success” than your fourth grade attendance record. So why did this business about “structure” become such a devoutly held article of truth?

The myth of structure derives from a long-held and mistaken notion about tannins. Time was, wine drinkers looked at tannin levels in wines, especially red Bordeaux, as a marker of longevity.
Read on …

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