Cocktail Hour

Top 5 Myths About Red Wine

Like all things popular, there’s no shortage of rumors surrounding red wine. There are misconceptions about how to drink it, speculations about what to drink it with, and many, many myths. Here are the top five:

1. It’s “heavy.”

I can’t begin to count the times I’ve heard someone say, “I want something light, like a white wine or rose.” Fantastic light-bodied red wines exist, and they are not to be neglected! The most commonly imbibed light red wine is Pinot Noir, but recently wines like Lambrusco (Italy), Beaujolais (France) and Zweigelt (Austria), have made a comeback. These wines all smack of red fruit and are perfect for warm weather afternoon drinking.

2. It’s not for fish.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the old pairing rules are dead. A grilled fish or seafood dish can easily stand up to one of the light-bodied reds mentioned above. If prepped correctly, heartier sea creatures can even swim with bolder reds.

3. It should be served at room temperature.

It’s a common misconception that wine should be served at room temperature, which is about 75 degrees. In fact, most experts recommend that red wines should be served slightly chilled, between 50-60 degrees, depending on the body.

The lighter the body, the cooler the serving temperature should be.

4. It makes you tired.

Red wine might make you sleepy, but no sleepier than any other alcohol.

However, red wine is typically consumed at times when you’re relaxing, like at a meal or winding down after a long day, so people associate it with fatigue. (When’s the last time you drank tequila while watching Bravo?)

Repeat after me: It’s not the red wine that’s making you tired; it’s the couch you’re sitting on.

5. It has the same amount of alcohol as white wine.

Red and white wines can have the same ABV (alcohol by volume), but most of the time, the red wine will be more alcoholic. Put simply, wine body and color are correlated, and there are a lot more full and medium-bodied reds out there than whites.

– Leora Kalikow, Director of Communications and Sommelier at Public House Wine


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