Swirling wine has to be one of the most intimidating aspects of drinking wine. We’ve all seen it done, and we’ve all heard that it helps aerate the wine in your glass, but is that true? Here are four things to know about swirling wine in your glass.
It’s Not a Myth
Swirling your wine is important whether you’re drinking from the bottom shelf or enjoying a glass of discount fine wine. First off, swirling helps get rid of unwanted odors, like the smell of alcohol that lingers after opening a new bottle. Secondly, introducing a bit of oxygen into the wine helps accentuate the wine’s natural aroma. Lastly, swirling wine lets you observe the wine’s texture and viscosity by creating legs on the side of the glass.
Use a Wide Glass
Swirling wine is much easier in a glass with a wide bowl rather than a narrow one. This additional space helps you get a better swirl using less force, which is crucial if you want to avoid an embarrassing spill. Don’t overfill your glass, either. The extra glass volume is necessary for bringing oxygen into contact with the wine.
Taste Is Key
The most important thing to know about swirling wine in your glass is that there’s no standard for how long to do it. All wines (yes, even white wines) can usually benefit from a little swirling, but how do you know when to stop? Taste the wine and see what you think! If the wine still hasn’t opened up, give it another swirl. Once you’re able to distinguish individual flavors by tasting the wine, you don’t need to keep swirling.
Keep It Horizontal
The key to avoiding wine sloshing out of your glass is to keep the direction of your swirl horizontal, parallel to the floor. Use your wrist rather than your whole arm to avoid putting too much force into the swirl. You can even swirl your glass on the table if it feels more comfortable.
Wine Swirling Checklist
Next time you enjoy one of our bottles, follow these steps to start swirling like a pro:
- Prepare a wine glass that holds at least 20 ounces.
- Pour two ounces of wine into the glass.
- Give your glass a swirl for 10-15 seconds.
- Observe the wine’s color, clarity, and legs.
- Take in the aroma of the wine.
- If you can’t distinguish individual aromas, swirl again.
- Taste the wine.
- If the wine still seems closed, swirl and taste again until it opens up.
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