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6 more wine myths - busted part 2

The champagne glass was molded on Marie Antoinette's breast. Or was it?

by: Cathy Marston | 28 Mar 2012

My word – you wouldn’t think such a simple thing as a glass of wine could provoke so much debate, misinformation and misunderstanding would you? But we had a great response to our first ‘6 Myths about Wine’ and lots more suggestions of new myths to be busted.

So here are my next favourite 6 misconceptions about wine drinking – unless you know any better of course!

Pink wine is made from pink globe grapes.

Noooo – the vast majority of pink wine is made from black grapes. Most wine grapes have white flesh and all the colour comes from the skins so if they are removed from the grape juice after only a few hours – voila, pink wine! Pink Globe grapes are made for eating, not drinking.

A sparkling wine cannot be corked.

I’ve heard this one earnestly asserted by more than one person who ought to know better, but the fact remains that where there’s a cork, there can be cork taint and sparkling wines can and do become infected with TCA like any other wine. Obviously if it’s sealed with a screwcap or a plastic cork then the likelihood of it being corked is diminished, but not entirely – see first 6 myths!

A low-alcohol wine will help you lose weight
Mmm, well this isn’t exactly a myth I’m busting here, more a hidden industry secret. Yes, alcohol does pile on the calories – but so does sugar, and very often, low-alcohol wines add in extra sugar to boost the flavour and compensate for the lack of alcoholic oomph.

Plus, if you’re anything like me, as soon as you know it’s low-alcohol, you probably have a second glass which completely negates what little good the lack of calories does for you anyway!

The more you spend on a wine, the better it is
Boy, I bet every marketer in the world desperately wants you to believe this is true! There is an understandable theory behind this belief – better wine comes from more concentrated grapes. Concentrated grapes come from low-yielding vines. Low-yielding vines mean lower quantities of wine which means increased prices to cover costs. But honestly – there are a thousand other things which come into the equation and very few of them have anything to do with the quality of the wine in your glass. Best advice? Trust your own taste.

The ‘coupe’ or saucer-shaped Champagne glass was modelled on Marie Antoinette’s breast.

Nice try boys, and good excuse for a few titters (as it were), but sadly not true. The coupe first appeared as a vessel for wine in the 1670’s in England and Marie Antoinette wasn’t born until 1755. Nor was it modelled on Empress Josephine (also later) nor Diane de Poitiers or Helen of Troy (both born before glass-making got this good). It’s just something too many imaginative men have concocted!

Wine contains bull’s blood
Not anymore. Quite some time ago, the dried blood of animals was used as a fining agent – it was mixed with the wine to attract any loose particles floating in it. These larger clumps of matter then precipitated out of the wine and could be harmlessly filtered. This process is now mostly done with a chalk-like substance called Bentonite, although strict vegans may want to know that some wineries still use egg albumen, dairy products or isinglass which is made from fish bladders.

So there’s a few things you thought you knew which perhaps you didn’t. Got any other tales or rumours about wine? Let us know and we’ll bust that myth.


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