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Conventional wisdom not always wise

3:17 PM  Dec 30th, 2010
by Thomas M. Columbus

Red wine should be served at room temperature. That advice, according to Banfi’s website, predates central heating. “Light-bodied red wines,” Banfi advises, “are optimally served at 55-65°F. Full-bodied red wines show best between 62 and 68°F.”

A bottle of wine having a screw top and not a cork is a sign of an inferior wine. Although corks may conjure up romantic days of yesteryear, advances in technology are leading many wine people to see screw tops as highly effective in keeping wine from deteriorating.

If Champagne is in France, where is Cabernet? Some wines — such as Cabernet and Chardonnay — use varietal designations for their names; that is, they are named after grapes. Others — like Bordeaux and Chianti — are named after the place where they are produced. Countries such as France and Italy prescribe what kinds of grapes can go into wines having place names. If a wine drinker needs a topic of conversation, talking of how the grape, the weather and the land (even which side of a hill the vine is on) affect the nature of a wine can provide hours of entertaining, sometimes contentious, conviviality.

This article is a sidebar to our Winter 2010-11 feature “Wine & Family.”

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