The art of enjoying wine goes so much more than simply pouring and sipping wine. To truly get the whole package, there are a few crucial steps you have to follow to get the full experience, and swirling is one of those steps. Swirling is the first step in fully grasping the wine for major wine enthusiasts.
Not only does the swirling motion open up the aromas and flavors, but it even impacts the color and gives you a good indication of the wine’s age and alcohol content. Swirling is arguably the most essential part of enjoying wine, so here’s what you should know about swirling wine.
The Importance of Swirling For Aromas
When seriously analyzing a wine, there are three parts: the visual aspect and then the aromas and flavors. These three are often taken very seriously since all elements tell a different story about the wine.
For instance, by observing the color of a wine, you are able to see whether red wine is a bright, vibrant color or whether it is darkened and brown. These color differences often tell you whether a wine is old or young. Likewise, if the color is dark and intense, it is usually an indicator of a fuller-bodied wine, whereas the light, almost transparent red wines are an indicator of a light red wine. A bright, golden color for white wines usually indicates that the wine was aged in oak barrels, whereas a pale yellow wine suggests a young, fresh wine.
The swirling motion opens up the color spectrum in the glass and allows you to see the complete picture of the wine. Simply having it in the bottom of your glass doesn’t give you the complete picture of the colors. By allowing it to move up against the side of the glass, you’re able to see more.
And apart from the color, the swirling motion gives you a better idea of how ‘thick’ the wine is. The thicker the wine is against the glass, the higher the sugar or alcohol is. So you are then able to tell whether a wine will either be sweet or high in alcohol simply by swirling it in the glass.
The Importance of Swirling For Aromatically
Considering how long wine has been trapped in a bottle, it almost feels as though the flavors and aromas had to be compressed into that small vessel. You need to swirl a wine in the glass in order to release all those aromas and flavors. What you’re essentially doing is allowing the aroma to rise to the top of the glass, making it easier to smell individual aspects.
If you simply smell a wine right after it has been poured, you may not be able to pick up on as many aromas.
The different aromas give an equally good indication of what the wine is and how it is made, so it is a step that is taken very seriously. The aromas of the wine indicate whether a wine was oaked or unoaked. Certain aromas also indicate a specific variety or even the age of the wine.
The Importance of Swirling For Taste
As with the aromas, swirling motion allows all the trapped notes to come to the surface. But when it comes to the taste, there is another reason swirling is so essential. It’s no secret that aerating wine is important and can be done in a number of different ways. Swirling is one way to aerate your wine since the movement increases the contact between your wine and the air. The point of this aeration technique is to further release the aromas and flavors, essentially making your wine taste better.
Aromas, Flavors, And Climate Change
The importance of swirling for the release of aromas and flavors is abundantly clear. However, those aromas and flavors can differ significantly due to climate change. While we were once used to a particular wine with a specific set of characteristics, climate change is stirring up the industry, changing all the conventional aromas and flavors of a wine. With the rising temperatures, we are getting higher alcohol, higher sugar, and more concentrated flavors in wines, altering what we would typically experience.
So while we use the swirling technique to release aromas and flavors, we quickly have to get used to the idea that these aromas and flavors aren’t going to be what they once were.
Key Marketing Takeaways
The art of swirling is an important step to releasing the wine’s color, aromas, and flavors.
Most aromas and flavors are trapped in a wine bottle, and the swirling technique allows all the aromas and flavors to come to the surface.
While we might think we might know the particular characteristics of a wine, climate change is quickly changing that, altering the common characteristics we associate with certain wines.