Myth 1: Want To Get Healthy? You MUST Cut Wine Out Of Your Diet!
It never ceases to amaze me when I hear of someone turning down a glass of wine because of the carbs.
It has been well-reported that wine consumed in moderation has a multitude of health benefits. A glass a day for women (two for men, those lucky guys) has been linked to decreased heart disease, lower cholesterol and better mental function.
So an occasional glass of wine may (and should) be enjoyed guilt-free as part of a lifestyle that includes regular exercise and a balanced diet.
The key, as with all things, is moderation. Don't take a glass a day to mean you can save up for a binge on the weekend. Pace yourself! Be smart ... and savor.
Myth 2: Wear White, Drink Pink
Are you drinking rosé between Memorial Day and Labor Day only? Then you're missing out on one of my personal favorites the other nine months of the year.
There's no reason to put pink wines away along with your white jeans and sandals once the kids are back in school. Rosé can be enjoyed year round and is actually one of my top picks for Thanksgiving because you get the advantages of red fruit flavors while having the lightness of a white.
Maybe that's why rosé has surpassed white wine in popularity among the French and accounts for more than 88% of wine made in Provence.
Myth 3: Champagne Is For Special Occasions
Sparkling wine can - and should - be enjoyed more frequently than at celebrations.
It's perfectly acceptable to pair Champagne (or other sparkling wine) with every course of your meal - from popcorn to roast pork and potatoes. The bubbles and crisp acidity make a perfect match with virtually every food (except dessert). Just make sure your wine is as sweet as, if not sweeter than, the food you're pairing with it.
What's the difference between champagne, prosecco and cava? The word "Champagne" may only be assigned to sparkling wines produced under strict rules and controls in the Champagne region of northeastern France.
Prosecco - traditionally associated with the Bellini cocktail made famous at Harry's Bar in Venice, Italy - is produced in Italy and has become a popular, less expensive alternative to champagne, but is fermented in a tank and has less complexity.
If it's cava you crave, you're likely in a Spanish and/or tapas restaurant, since this is the traditional sparkling wine of Spain, mostly produced in the Penedès area of Catalonia. Cava is bottle-fermented like Champagne but considerably less expensive.
I serve all my sparkling in white wine glasses (rather than the traditional flutes) so I can really enjoy the aromas.
Myth 4: Only The Clueless Ask For Help In A Wine Shop Or Restaurant
When you walk into a wine shop, do you avoid making eye contact with the staff? Are you afraid of sounding stupid? Does your heart sink to your stomach when handed the wine list at a restaurant?
Here's the truth. Nobody expects you to be a Master of Wine, so don't be afraid to ask for help. At my wine shop, Amanti Vino, we want you to engage us - especially because we've all tasted every wine on our shelves and live for the opportunity to talk about them to interested guests. If you give us a little information about what you like or don't like, we can give you a ton of options at all price points.
It's the same story at a restaurant. If the wine list looks confusing, ask if there's a sommelier or someone on hand who can help you pick a good wine to go with the dishes you've ordered. Then ask for a few recommendations. Don't be shy about telling them what you'd like to pay, either. I will frequently point to a bottle at the price I want to spend and ask for other options.
We don't judge you for not knowing, we applaud you for wanting to learn more. The customer who says, "I like dry white wines, I'm serving fish tonight and I'd like to spend around $30 for a bottle," is already a winner in our book. So is the person who says, "I don't know much about wine, but I'm going to a Brazilian restaurant. What can I bring that folks will enjoy?"
So please, ask away; we're here to help.