If you are not an avid wine drinker, you may have always wondered why people swirl their wine. It looks cool and elegant, but does it actually make a difference in how the wine tastes? The short answer is yes. Swirling your wine allows you to taste all of the different flavors that the wine has to offer.
When you taste your wine, you are not just tasting it in your mouth. In fact, tasting your wine mostly occurs through your olfactory bulb, which is in your nose. If you want to test this idea you can try drinking wine and holding your nose. The flavors that you taste will be completely different.
When you swirl your wine you are releasing the aromas into the air and allowing you to better smell and taste the wine that you are drinking. The more your swirl the wine, the more aromas you can smell and taste. When the aromas of the wine are exposed to the oxygen in the air, they reduce the overwhelming taste of alcohol and allow you to fully experience the rich flavors of the wine.
Another reason why swirling wine makes it taste better is that it eliminates compounds of the wine that you may not want to taste. When wine is exposed to the air, some of the less desirable compounds are evaporated from the wine. The most commonly evaporated compounds include sulfides and sulfites. When these are eliminated from the wine, it naturally makes the wine taste better.
When you go to swirl your wine, the glass that you choose to use will make a huge difference. There are endless glass varieties to choose from, however, the most popular glasses are the ones with a huge bottom. The bigger the glass, the more room the wine has to interact with the air. Just because the glass is larger, does not mean that you need to fill in more. You should still pour the same amount of wine into any glass that you use. The larger the glass the more surface area that wine has to interact with the oxygen. When there is more wine exposed to the oxygen you are able to smell and taste more flavors and aromas. It gives you the best opportunity to smell and taste the wine as you swirl it.
One of the biggest reasons why people either enjoy or do not like what they are drinking is because of the expectations that they have. If you are expecting a certain flavor or taste and do not get it, you are left disappointed most of the time. Swirling wine helps you see what you are going to taste. When you swirl your wine you are testing its viscosity. This allows you to determine the thickness of the wine. When you spin the wine around your glass you are able to determine how well it sticks to the sides of the glass. It allows you to predict the taste you will get, while also savoring the aromas.