How much do you know about white wine?
There are many myths out there about this drink which are simply not true, but people commonly believe and repeat them. You might think that you know about white wine and drink it all the time but not be aware of these interesting wine facts.
Here are a few of the most pervasive white wine myths and the reasons why they are not strictly true.
White Wines Are Better Than Red Wines with Many Cheeses
You might have made the mistake of serving a cheese board at the end of the meal with red wine. Most people assume that cheese matches well with red wine, but this is not necessarily the case. In fact, some of the best wine pairings are between white wines and cheese. This is because the full bodied tannins in red wines can overwhelm the delicate tastes of mild cheeses, making it hard to distinguish and enjoy the great flavours of both. Red wines should only be served with hard cheeses with full flavour and any creamy and delicate cheese will work better with white wine.
Try pairing a Sauvignon Blanc with some creamy goat’s cheese or sweet Sauternes with a salty and strong bleu cheese. Your guests might be sceptical about the combination, but they will be impressed when they experience how the flavours complement each other.
White Wine Isn’t Just For Fish
It is true that white wine is generally paired with lighter foods such as fish. However, there are plenty of seafood dishes which work better with red wine. For example, any fish which is charred or served with a fruity sauce, tomatoes or mushrooms should be served with a delicate red such as Pinot Noir.
Meat dishes are not just for red wines either. There are plenty of meats which work much better with white wines, especially spicy foods such as Indian curries or Chinese and Thai food. These meals will taste amazing when paired with a high acid white wine such as a Gewurztraminer or a Riesling.
White Wine Doesn’t Have to Be Served Chilled
The old advice goes that white wine should be served cold and red white should always be served at room temperature. Although this is the general rule, the truth is that each wine has its own optimal serving temperature. Many people make the mistake of serving their white wine too cold or their red wine too warm.
Why is this? It is actually due to the advent of modern heating and cooling technology in our homes. Before most houses had thermostats and central heating, “room temperature” was a lot cooler than it is today. These days most homes are kept at around 22 degrees Celsius, which is a bit too warm for red wine to be served. The warmth will make even a nice red wine taste rough and more alcoholic than it is. Also before refrigerators were commonplace in most homes white wines were traditionally kept in the wine cellar beneath the house which was quite a few degrees cooler than room temperature but not as cold as the modern fridge. Serving your white wines straight from the fridge will mask their flavours.
Here is a simple way to make sure you are serving wines at the correct temperature: If it’s white, take it out of the fridge 25 minutes before serving, if it’s red put in the fridge for 25 minutes before serving.
It’s Not Just Red Wine Which Has Health Benefits
There have been many recent studies which have revealed that red wine has a number of health benefits due to the antioxidants within it and can improve heart function and prevent artery blockage. The way this works is that the tannins in the wine suppress the creation of a certain peptide which causes the arteries to harden over time. (Of course, it is recommended that you only consume one to two glasses of wine per day for these health benefits, as excess alcohol can be damaging to your health in other ways.)
However, these beneficial health effects are not just limited to red wines; they are also present in white wines as well. The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry recently published a study which compared red wines and white wines and found that they were equally powerful in improving heart function.
In fact, the white wines which were studied revealed an antioxidant composition which was similarly present in olive oil. The study recommended European white wines, such as those from France, Germany and Italy as having the best health benefits.
These are just a few of the most common myths about white wine which have been passed around time and time again. Now that you know, you will be a more informed wine drinker and you will be able to appreciate this amazing drink even more.
Here are a few fascinating facts about white wine that you might not have known, which will enhance your understanding of this delicious drink.