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Ep 13 TNWG Wine Times: Ten Common Misconceptions with Wine

Happy Friday, first and foremost! 

We made it once more to the end of the week and I think that is worth celebrating too 🍾

Secondly, a quick apology from me - it has been a very busy week (as I am sure it has for many of us) and I am a day late in releasing the weekly! I wanted to touch on misconceptions of wine - because there are many and I am hoping to mention TEN key ones to you below.

Ok, so let's get straight to it.....


  1. 😲 Who has placed a spoon in the bottle of something bubbly and thought it would hold the bubbles overnight?No, just me then. Well this is of course a fable I am afraid. You would need to block the air to the bottle and keep it nice and chilled to ensure you maximise the amount of bubbles remaining. (If you want to really push the boat out, then using the Coravin system will re-gas the bottle to preserve it for longer). 

  2. 😲 Organic and natural wines will not give you a hangover.Nope, sadly this is not true either. In truth the only way to stop hangovers right now (watch this space as more technological advances and investigation especially in the US) is to drink in moderation and know your limits! 

  3. 😲 If you buy a Blended wine (i.e. more than one grape varietal) it is worse than something which is made up of 100% of a single varietal.Wrong again. Take a look at some of the finest wines in the world in Bordeaux, they are typically blended Cabernet Sauvignon with Merlot (and quite often 1-2 other varietals too). Blended wines does not mean inferior, it more shows that the winemaker has increased skills in working out the correct structure, balance and style of wine for the consumer. 

  4. 😲 You must use an expensive decanter for expensive wine.Nope, wrong on so many levels. In fact, there are so many studies now that suggest that the aged wines have done just that, aged and are ready to drink without too much oxygenation as they have been periodically having it through the small spaces in the cork. Further to this, an expensive decanter? Why? You can quite easily aerate a wine with a plastic jug from the kitchen.Tip - if you do not own a decanter, then you can buy an aerator tool that sits on top of your wine bottle that does the same thing as you pour and can be bought at any online establishment. Or better yet, pull your measuring jug from the kitchen pour the wine into the jug and then back into the bottle again....job done! 

  5. 😲 White wine must be served cold and Red wine must be room temperature. If you are passing WSET exams, then yes there are temperature guidance for styles of wines. However, as I have explained on previous weekly newsletters, white wine should not be taken straight out of the fridge and poured (even though we all do it!). It needs to raise a few degrees from the fridge temperature before consuming. It also depends on which wine you are drinking too as to the temperature of the wine. Red wine - why can you not place in the fridge? There are certain lighter, fruitier styles that work from the lower temperatures and work beautifully on a summer's day. Try it and see! 

  6. 😲 Wine always get better with age.I hear this all the time from consumers. Look at my red that I have here, it is a 2009 XYZ.... Ageing doesn't mean better. The misconception is that as consumers we hear about the fine wine industry and how fine wine has been sold for huge amounts of money. This is the extreme, the top wines in the world. The reality is most wine is made to be drunk in the first few years are production. It is only the exceptional level wines that will improve with age! 

  7. 😲 Screwcaps are worse wines than traditional cork.In the world of being more sustainable and eco-friendly, there are a number of different closures that are being used across the board, but you can find exceptional wines in screwcaps and traditional cork wines. Screwcaps are especially more popular in Australasia and South America, especially those that we see in the UK on the wine shelves. They cause fewer faults in wines in screwcap format, they are a better seal in terms of if the wine is designed to not be slowly oxidised which happens with cork and screwcap technology has developed to a level which sees all range of price points for wines. 

  8. 😲 Dry wines have fewer calories.Alas, I wish this one was true, but no sadly again not true. Just because the process of fermenting the sugars into alcohol means in effect you have changed sugar levels, sadly does not mean that wine is then lower in calories. Even those big, bold, dry red wines from hot climates, whilst not having much residual sugar in the wine, still started with large amounts prior to turning into alcohol.However, it is true that if you wanted a low calorie type wine, then you would also look for a dry wine which is low in alcohol, so for example Prosecco, Moscato's and dry Rieslings etc as examples. 

  9. 😲 The Best Wines have 'Reserve' on them.Sadly this also isn't necessarily true and comes on to a topic which we will discuss in the next few weeks when looking at reading wine labels on wines. It can be a complicated matter, because different regions have different requirements for their wine labelling. For example if you saw 'reserve' in the US, it actually means very little versus if you saw Grand Cru in Bordeaux (extreme examples used). 

  10. 😲Pouring Large measures of wine in your glass will taste the same as a smaller glass of the same wine.This is a good one to try at home (difficult when you are out at a bar and ask for a large glass of wine). The mistake many have is thinking when tasting wine, that it doesn't matter how much wine is in the glass. Actually it does. If you want to taste the wine and look at what you can taste and identify those fruits, textures and winemaking skills then you do not want to overload the glass, no matter how big your goblet maybe! You are trying to maximise the surface area while giving your wine room to oxidise in the glass and as you swirl it, it oxygenates the wine giving the aroma profile to you as the consumer. So remember, keep the portion sizes smaller so that you can find out more about the wine in your glass!


Mitravelas, Red on Black

Agiorgitiko - Greece's most widely planted dark skinned grape variety, which is capable of both high volumes and high quality but comes in a range of styles. Agiorgitiko - literally means 'St George's grape' named after a tiny chapel of St George in Nemea. It is potentially high yielding, best suited to poor soils, late budding and ripening varietal. 

It is a red wine which bursts into life on the nose, with bountiful amounts of red fruits and violets on the nose, yet with a supple, spicy palate. Think sour cherries and herbs combined and at 14% ABV too. This would go superbly well with a bbq or a pizza night! 

Medium+ to full bodied in styles, typically making some deeply coloured examples which marry well with oak and are rich, this 'Red on Black' from Mitravelas is just that. It has medium acidity and is purchasable from The Wine Society (The International Exhibition Co-operative Wine Society Limited) at under £10 a bottle is a great steel for those looking for something to try in a different region and varietal.

Mitravelas Estate is the oldest family of viticulturists in Nema (19th century) dating back to 1828!



A little bit of fun with the 'top' article this week, as far from surprising is that Beer stands at no1 and Wine at no2 as the most consumed alcoholic drinks in the world. Interesting to see the numbers behind Baijiu and Cider though!



On the week (as at 09:30 26/01 LDN) changes:

EQUITIES: ⬆️ FTSE 100 up 1.5%; ⬆️ DAX up 1.58%; ⬆️ S&P up 2.25%; ⬆️Nikkei 225 down 0.056%; ⬆️ Dow Jones up 0.64%;

COMMODITIES: ⬆️ Brent Oil up 2.39% ; ⬇️ Crude Oil up 3.3% ; ⬇️ Gold down 0.06%; ⬆️Silver up 0.01%; ⬇️ Copper down 1.02%

BONDS (in yield terms): ⬆️ UK 2yrs higher 0.117%; ⬆️ UK 10yrs higher 0.0705%; ⬇️ German 10yrs lower 0.0515%, ⬇️ US 2yrs lower 0.043%; ⬆️ US 10yrs lower 0.027%;

Equity performance in the US has been the star attraction this week as the Nasdaq and S&P500 hit new highs, driven by the US economic data prints beating expectations and possibly Trump being more likely to come into power as the next US President once more, following a couple of high profile primaries.

The FED though is still stuck between a rock and a hard place as to whether it cuts rates sooner rather than later and with political pressure from the elections only likely to continue into the summer, a front loading scenario of cuts seems still to be the best foot forward for their rate path.

In the UK, it is somewhat of a more sombre theme with rate cuts likely to be continual once it begins, but picking that first month of action is an ongoing debate. In Europe, the ECB still looks to be aiming for a summer cut, albeit the data has been better than expected but CPI still a worry. The BoJ are also debating the lift off in rates as the central bank minutes suggest a mixed tone amongst the members which makes for a relatively volatile period on the currency. In oil, we monitor the on-going situation in the Red Sea and look for Brent Oil to start to tick higher before too long.

Next week, we get the monthly asset allocation piece, which will look at what expectations would be on a month-end adjustments where needed and to see if there is still outright equity strength continuing the theme.


  • As above, the first RESIDENCY of The Northern Wine Guy in Sheffield will take place on Saturday 2nd March. Tickets are on sale now - it is open for everyone (above the age of 18), with no prior knowledge of wines required.

  • Informative, fun and easy going, click here to get hold of your tickets now. 

  • Venue: Picture House Social, 383 Abbeydale Road, Nether Edge, Sheffield S7 1FS 2pm till 4pm. 

🎙️PODCASTS released this week:

  • This is a super interview with head winemaker at Saddle Goose in the UK. They are changing the script or rewriting the old methods and ways of winemaking and creating Natural and Pet Nat wines that are highly regarded. Tune in to this to understand the UK winemaking boutique challenges and how winemaking can evolve in the next few years.

👉 The Northern Wine Guy Podcast Show - Ep 3 - feat Luisa Salussolia , founder of Unicorn & The Vine.

  • Super insightful episode on all things wine. It looks at Luisa's extensive experience in the drinks and hospitality industry, how she evolved further into wine. 

  • Not 1 but at least THREE key wine regions that are important and should be on everyone's radar, two wine reviews and why the Wine & Spirit Education Trust qualifications are so important to all in learning about wine.

Do not forget, you can DOWNLOAD, SHARE, tell everyone about these podcasts - they exist on Spotify, Amazon, Apple NOW!

That is all from me this week, a lot exciting trade and press tastings upcoming in the next few weeks, so stay tuned for more from The Northern Wine Guy and thanks for reading.

Have a good weekend ahead! 

Cheers 🍷


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