Common wine myths and misinformation
There are some things that people are completely baffled by when it comes to wine. Let's see how many of these myths we can clear up...
White Zinfandel is a grape
This goes with the "Zinfandel is a pink wine" myth. Zinfandel is a red grape, which makes a rich, hearty red wine. When the demand for white wine grew, the Zinfandel growers decided to try something new and pulled off the skins, making a lighter, pinker, sweeter wine. This was White Zinfandel which became immensely popular with new wine drinkers. There's nothing wrong with White Zinfandel - it's just a relatively new wine, and a sweet younger sister to the 'real' Zinfandel wine.
French Wines have Blood in them
Long, long ago, blood was used as a fining agent. The blood was dropped in to bond with the proteins, and then it was all taken out of the wine. Some wines, like Bordeaux, fine with egg whites to clarify their wines, but it is illegal to use blood in both the US and France. Perhaps a very few wineries still do this somewhere in the outer reaches, but it is not by any means a standard practice.
Roses in Vineyards are for Show
Well, yes and no. In centuries past, roses were planted with vines because the rose plants were sensitive to some of the things that afflict wines - black rot, bugs, etc. If the rose bush was suffering, it was time to break out preventative measures. Also, some had the theory that roses were tastier than grape vines, so it would draw bugs and such to the roses and away from the grapes. Unfortunately, if this theory was true, then the roses would be like advertising "come here for a treat" to bugs, drawing in bugs that might normally have trundled along towards a flower garden. Sharpshooters, for example, just love roses, and are drawn to them...
Nowadays, most wineries are monitoring the soil and health of the plants, and don't need those roses. They do look pretty, though... you can even use red and white roses to indicate the grape colors.
Sulfites are an evil, unnatural addition to wine
It's surprising how many myths revolve around sulfites. Sulfites are a natural part of many fruits and vegetables - it's the plant's way of protecting itself, warding off things that might eat it. It helps preserve the plant. It serves the same role in grapes, which is why most winemakers add in additional sulfites - it allows the wine to age. Without sulfites, we'd only have wines that could last 1-2 years and be out a great deal of wine enjoyment. Sulfites have been added to wines for thousands of years. That having been said, some people get headaches from sulfites. Sulfites are high in white wines, and low in red wines. If you get headaches from white wines only, it might be the sulfites. Try drinking water along with your wine - many headaches are caused by dehydration. If it really is the sulfites, you might have to cut back on your white wine drinking or switch to low-sulfite styles.
A side note about sulfites is that somehow some people believe French wineries add sulfites only to American wines. This is ridiculous! They don't make different versions of their wines for different markets. The only reason our bottles say "contains sulfites" is because of our over-eager lawyers. The exact same wine is served in France.
These are just a few of the most common wine myths out there, unfortunately there are a lot more. Feel free to contact us if you need help sorting out fact from fiction when it comes to wine. We're not just a great source for customized wine glasses, we want to be your source for all things related to wine. So whether you're looking for wine related gifts or just want to read some interesting information about wine, make us your one and only stop to either destination!