Red wine, white lies: The wine 'rules' we can all be breaking

red wine pinot noir
Firstly, take that bottle of pinot noir out of the cupboard and put it in the fridge. Photo credit: Getty Images.

Whether you're a fully qualified sommelier or you're someone just starting to get to know varieties beyond "white" and "red", there are some certified wine 'rules' many of us feel we have to abide by. 

Well, forget what you know: Wine rules are made to be broken, says Leftfield winemaker Richard Painter. 

Painter himself is a big fan of breaking the rules. He told Newshub he likes to "challenge winemaking norms" by using atypical grape varieties and quirky non-traditional blends, utilising grapes such as Albariño, Arneis, Malbec, and Tempra. 

Now he's pointed to some of the biggest industry myths he says can be binned. 

Take these on board, and take pride in being a total myth-buster next time you're at a BYO with a bit of a wine 'snob'. 

Reds taste best at room temperature 

This one is bound to shock some red wine lovers to the core, but take that bottle of pinot noir out of the cupboard and put it where it belongs: The fridge. The idea that reds should be served at room temperature was derived from the cellars in French chateaux, which of course, much colder than Kiwi kitchens. Notwithstanding the fact that New Zealand room temperatures are way too warm, red wines are more refreshing, drinkable and delicious with a slight chill. So move over that tomato sauce and make way for a bottle of your favourite cheeky crimson varietal. 

Screw caps mean plonk 

Simply not true. In fact, when it comes to keeping the quality of your wine better for longer, screw caps are far superior to corks. Plus, you don't run the risk of breaking the cork off into the bottle - we've all been there -  or needing to take a bottle opener in your bag to your next BYO. 

Each varietal needs its own glass 

If you fancy sipping champagne from a cocktail glass or sauv from a snifter then do just that, Painter says vino is vino no matter what you drink it from. Whether you sip or slug, swirl or swill, enjoy your wine however you want and don't be put off if the proper stemware isn't at the ready.  

Older wines are superior 

A sweeping statement that can be swept under the rug. While some wines are made to age well, most aren't and can actually get worse as they get older - join the club. Savour it on the spot instead of saving it for later because you may find that when you come to open it down the track you'll have to pour it down the drain.