Common Wine Misconceptions

by Tulip Hambleton | January 27, 2017 | 0 Comments

If our last post, on the health benefits of wine, surprised you, that is probably because of the range of misconceptions which there are about wine. This week we have rounded up some of the ones we hear most often, to bust some myths and, hopefully, help you enjoy wine even better than before.


White wine should be cold, red should be warm

If you are the sort who keeps your white in the fridge and your red by the radiator – you are not alone! But it is a common misconception that all red wines and all white wines need to be drunk at two specific temperatures. A lovely Pinot Noir, for example, is best enjoyed cool – in fact, the recommended drinking temperature for red wines in general is around 15 degrees – 5 degrees cooler than the average room temperature. The same is true for white wine, which should be served at around 7 degrees Celsius (rather than the 0 degrees at which it will come out of the fridge), otherwise it will lose much of its flavour and complexity.

Fruity Wine = Sweet Wine

Many people believe that if a wine is described as “fruity”, that must mean it is sweet. Not so! The flavours of fruit can be present in a wine, smoothing out the texture while still having low residual sugar. Want to see for yourself? Why not try our Ohau Woven Stone Sauvignon Blanc and see for yourself!


The more expensive a wine is, the better it is

Thankfully not! There are lots of things which contribute to a wine being more or less expensive. Well-known names and terroirs will have greater demand and tend to be more highly sought-after, older more aged wines are often perceived as better, which will drive up the price, and the type of oak used to make the barrels in which wine ages can contribute to a heftier price tag as well. When it comes down to it, however, using grapes from a famous terroir, aged in old French barrels, and kept for twenty years does not make one wine better than another, which has been made from lesser-known grape varieties at lesser-known vineyards, aged in young American oak barrels. It all comes down to taste, and often what you are eating with the wine. 

New Zealand Whites need to be drunk young

Our own personal pet peeve. Some people even believe all whites should be drunk young, but some – such as a good Chenin Blanc – are meant to be aged. This is particularly relevant for our 2014 Ohau wines which have been standing the test of time beautifully, performing wonderfully well in recent vertical tastings.The 2014 vintage is still fresh with the highly aromatic character imparted to the wines by the cool west-coast temperatures. Unlike some of the Marlborough versions, Ohau’s 2014 Sauvignon Blanc is holding up marvellously and needs to be tasted for this to be truly appreciated. Being NZ’s newest wine region, and the only region on the west coast of the North Island, gives these wines a unique complexity from the gravelly terroir of the old Ohau river bed. Try them for yourself here.

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