In my sommelier school professors like to ask questions like “Do you believe that …” and then some popular statement follows.
Picture: Terje Sollie
After listening to the answers, they tend to smile cunningly and tell stories from life.
- Wine needs to be sniffed first through one nostril, then through another.
– Once your second professor and I were at the reception ( both have 40 years of experience for two, fine and demanded specialists, they rock!) We look – one dude gathered people around him, sniffing the wine with different nostrils, and explaining something emotionally. Interesting, we came closer. He is telling that if you cover the left one and smell only with the right one, you’ll hear fruit notes better. Then you change nostrils and feel mineral smells better. The reason is that different parts of the brain are connected with nostrils differently and responsible for the sensitivity to different flavors, so when they do not mix, you smell more clearly. My colleague and I are thinking “what a nonsense?”.
– Do you work in this field or how did you find this out? – we ask.
– Nah, just read on Facebook.
– Thanks for the information.
- Good wine is corked by a wooden stopper.
Nowadays it’s more an adherence to tradition. Most expensive winemakers are unlikely to give it up because it turns the opening into a show.
Modern winemakers, for example in Holland, prefer twist-off caps. The wine opens easily, the taste does not spoil because of the possible bacteria in the wooden cork, it’s hygienically and practically. Plus the price of a bottle becomes lower.
- The wine harvest year will tell all about the contents of the bottle.
I immediately remember “experts” who say something like: “Oh, the red one of 87th! It was a great year!” The statement is applicable to a specific wine, perhaps even to a region, but not to all the wines of a certain year.
For example, in southern Italy, Sicily, it was cloudless and sunny, so the wine turned out excellent. In Tuscany (unlikely, but admissible) it turned out so-so because of the frequent cloudiness, and terrible in Liguria – because of the frequent rains.
- Old wine can be sold at a higher price.
Is not a fact. It depends on whether the wine was originally prepared for long-term storage, how and where it was stored. Even if the wine was stored for ten years on a balcony with temperature changes or stood under glass, but in the sun, most likely it can simply be thrown away.
- White wine with fish, red with meat.
There’s no accounting for taste, is there? But now this statement is like “The color of bag and shoes should match”, namely old news.
- Good wines are expensive. The more expensive the better.
Yes. Especially if you are a snob and have a lot of money.
But in general “Good wine” is a loose concept both from the technological and production point of view, which depends more on personal taste. You can find a good wine in the supermarket, and you can go to the vineyard and take the excellent sparkling wine even cheaper. Not to mention ones own grandfather-handyman!