We’d like to think we’re a pretty down-to-earth, no-nonsense bunch here at Advintage HQ, and that’s why we thought it was about time we rolled up our sleeves, enjoyed a deep sip from our wine glasses, and took to our keyboards to set about debunking a few of the most common wine myths that are swirling around out there!
Expensive wines are better wines
This is probably the number one wine myth that gets us growling at Advintage. Whilst there will always be those special moments when you want to enjoy something a little more extravagant, we pride ourselves on offering a great selection of wines to suit all budgets and all tastes. So, whilst the wedding anniversary or next birthday milestone might call for one of our mighty High Rollers, we also have a great selection of anytime wines that won’t break the bank. We try every wine before it comes through the door at Advintage (it’s a hard life, we know) so you can rest assured that super-deal pricing still means super-quality wine. Check out our legendary Quaffers selection – whether it’s a BBQ, dinner party, or just a night in on the couch – we’ve got you covered.
All wines get better with age
We’ve been in the online wine game since the world wide web took its first, teetering steps and everyone tells us that we’re ageing gracefully like a finely maturing Stilton. Wines, on the other hand, aren’t all blessed with ageing potential. In fact, the majority of wines that are produced in this country are intended to be drunk within a couple of years after bottling. We’ve got plenty of bright, young things in our range of rosés and sauvs that are at their freshest and zippiest in their youth, and fly off the shelves every year before summer is over. But for those of you with plenty of patience and a bit of room to spare, we’ve got a carefully curated selection of cellar-worthy wines that will reward those who can resist sipping for the next few years.
All wines worth cellaring are red
Mention a wine cellar, and it conjures up images of dusty bottles of Bordeaux, perhaps located in the lower levels of an ancient Chateau. But there’s a whole host of white wines that have great cellaring potential. For instance, several vintage champagnes, chardonnays and rieslings will stand the test of time and develop a different range of flavours to their younger counterparts. And whilst we’re on the topic of cellaring wine and quality, though there’s something oh-so-satisfying about the sound of a cork being pulled, wines that are sealed with a screwcap can age just as well as a wine sealed with a cork.
Sweet wines aren't for serious wine lovers
Just to be clear, we’re not talking about the dreaded lolly-water wines out there. Here at Advintage, we’re huge fans of a truly delicious dessert wine that balances luscious fruit sweetness with silky mouthfeel and a clean finish. Sweet wines are a classic pairing for rich cheeses and are a truly delightful way to end a meal. A must-have for any dinner party shopping list.
Pair red wines with meat, and white wines with fish
We can’t deny that there are some classic wine and food combos out there – a full-bodied red and a sizzling cut of steak, a punchy sauv with fish & chips, and a chilled glass of champagne with freshly shucked oysters. But for those who dare to be different, there’s a whole world of interesting pairings ready to surprise us. A crisp Chenin Blanc can do wonders cutting through the fat of pork belly, or a rich and aromatic Viognier pairs beautifully with mild spice and savoury flavours, such as a classic butter chicken curry or even a tagine loaded with apricots. A light-bodied red like Pinot Noir or Gamay can be a great match for meatier fish like salmon or tuna. And an off-dry Gerwurz offers the fruity aromatics and sweetness to stand up to the chilli heat often present in Asian cuisine. (Just be careful to avoid pairing fish with high tannin reds, as the tannins can interact with the fish oil and leave a metallic aftertaste – not ideal!)
You can't chill red wines
Whilst you may not want to toss a dense Aussie shiraz in the fridge before serving, there are now plenty of red wines that have been made in a lighter style that benefit from being served at a lower temperature which showcases their fresh, fruity aromas. And though we generally serve red wines at room temperature, with today’s mod cons and comfy living, our version of room temperature is a lot warmer than it used to be. And we’ve all been guilty of hastily throwing a bottle of white wine in the freezer to chill before the guests arrive – unfortunately, many white wines are robbed of their aromas by serving them too cold. Fortunately, the clever chaps from the Wine & Spirit Education have put together this handy serving temperature guide to put these rumours to rest.
A spoon in sparkling wine will keep it bubbly
We’re really not sure where this one came from or the logic for it, but a scientific chap named Richard Zare officially debunked this wine myth in 1994. Thankfully, we stock a user-friendly champagne stopper which will keep your sparkling wine at its bubbly best, and the teaspoons firmly in the cutlery drawer where they belong.
A note on cellaring...
Wine cellars should be cool (around 10-15 °C), dark and kept at a constant temperature. To keep your wines happy and ageing nicely, keep corked bottles stored on their side, avoid temperature fluctuations, bright lights and vibrations (sometimes tricky in shaky ol’ New Zealand).
Wines go through peaks and troughs as they age, so it’s well worth investing in multiple bottles of your cellar staples so that you can try them over the years and hone in on their ideal drinking window.
But without overcomplicating things – enjoy your wine with great friends and great food, avoid storing it near the heat pump or oven, and you’ll probably be fine!