Have you ever seen people swirling the wine within their wine glasses? Has it made you wonder why do you swirl wine? Is there a benefit, or is it just for show? Well, you would be right in both cases. While there are many benefits to swirling your wine. There are also levels of wine swirling, and the individuals that use more flamboyant techniques are also doing it partly for show. If you are wondering why people swirl their wine, read on below.
Why Do You Swirl Wine?
The process of swirling your wine allows it to breathe. As more of your wine comes into contact with the air around it, the oxygen will work to help release aromas from within the wine itself. This allows the end product to both smell and taste better than before.
When you consume wine, you tend to actually ‘taste’ your wine, mostly through your sense of smell. This is the reason as to why the smell of wine is so incredibly important. And, by allowing oxygen to reach more of your wine through the process of swirling, you are dissipating unwanted compounds within your beverage. These include sulfites that can take on the scent of rotten eggs, and sulfides which smell like matchsticks.
There is also another key reason as to why people tend to swirl their wine. This is because the movement of your wine around the glass will expose the ‘legs’ of the wine. If your wine appears to be quite thick whilst it is moving, then it will have a higher alcohol content than other wines. Alternatively, when you swirl your wine up the side of your glass, if it returns to the center slower, then your wine may be quite sweet in taste. Although, it is important to note, this is not an exact art. Factors such as temperature and humidity can have an effect on your wines ‘legs’ as well.
Allow Your Wine To Reach The ‘Sweet’ Spot
Typically, especially with red wine, you find that the second glass from the bottle tends to be better than the first. This is because you have allowed the air to get into the bottle, and the process we have mentioned above has happened within it. By taking your time with your first glass of wine, both by allowing it to sit in the glass as well as using a swirling technique, will allow your first glass to breathe. Which will ensure that your first glass will taste just as good as your second.
Ways To Swirl Your Wine
Now that you know the reason behind why you should swirl your wine, I bet you did not know that there are multiple ways that you can swirl your wine. Yes, really. These three techniques are called refined, subdued, and grandiose.
The standard method to use is the subdued swirl technique. In order to correctly use this method, you need to maintain constant contact with the bottom of your glass and the surface you are swirling it on. You will then proceed to swirl the glass with gentle, slow circles. The purpose behind this swirling technique is to help agitate the wine.
To master the refined technique, you simply lift your wine glass with a supple wrist and use gentle flicks of your wrist to swirl the wine within the glass. This is a little more classy than the simple, subdued technique, but has the same outcome. Perhaps you may opt to use this technique if you are wishing to somewhat show off.
The final technique, grandiose, is usually the method used in your favorite TV shows and movies. Instead of simply using your wrist, like the prior techniques, the grandiose method requires you to use your full arms, with dramatic flare. This particular technique is for the true masters of the wine swirl. This is because there is a delicate balance between gentle agitation and sloshing your wine within the glass. Which is quite unseemly.
How Long Do You Need To Swirl Your Wine?
There is no exact science to wine swirling. But, it is believed that if you have swirl your wine for 5 to 10 seconds, you will have activated the agitating technique. You do not need to repeat the cycle multiple times, and you do not need to necessarily do it longer than this time period. As there will not be any additional benefits.
Large Versus Small Wine Glasses
When it comes to selecting the perfect wine glass to swirl wine in, there are actually multiple aspects that you must consider. Generally speaking, larger wine glasses are better for wine swirling as it allows the air to have a larger access to the wine within. This will then quicken the process of ridding your wine of those chemicals we have previously discussed.
But, larger wine glasses tend to be specifically used for red wine. This is because red wine tends to benefit more from the swirling process compared to white and rose wines. Red wine is more complex compared to its lighter counterparts. Due to these differences, white and rose wine tends to be served in smaller glasses, as they will not change too much after swirling. But, if you wish, you can swirl all three types of wine. And using a large glass is preferable to using a smaller one.
That concludes our guide on why do you swirl wine. Ultimately, by using one of the three swirling techniques we have mentioned above, you will have a more enjoyable glass of wine. The scent of a wine is just as important as its taste, and by swirling wine, you dispose of chemicals that will have a negative effect on either the taste or smell of your wine of choice. You do not need to swirl your wine for longer than 10 seconds. And the swirling experience will be both easier for you to achieve and more affective if you use a larger wine glass as opposed to a smaller one. As this will allow for your wine to spread across a bigger surface area and allow for more oxygen to reach the wine. Once you have mastered the technique, every glass will taste as good as the second.