If you’re unfamiliar with this technique, someone has likely seen it done. They swirl their wine around in their glasses, sometimes not even looking at the glass. It is almost hypnotic. Why do people do it? Is it because of social anxiety? Is it necessary to do something to distract themselves from the urge to leave the social scene? Is it pretentiousness? Is it really good wine sense?
It’s all about the flavour. Fine wine can slumber in bottles. It needs to be stirred a bit to get it moving again. Like you, when you get up, take a few deep breaths and move. Wine must breathe, and oxygen is key. It would help if you opened it up” to enjoy the Shiraz’s black fruit or the Riesling’s zesty citrus. Whatever varietal you choose, a gentle swirl can change your taste (its flavour or palate) and what it smells (its bouquet or scent).
Let’s not forget about the aroma. Aroma is just as important as flavour. You can encourage the release of aromas by swirling your glass.
You can test this by pouring yourself some wine. The larger the glass, the better. Before you swirl, take a moment to smell the wine. Put your nose into the glass. Take a deep breath. You will probably not notice any smell. Give your glass a swirl. Four to five times is enough. If you do it again, you’ll notice a distinct difference in the wine’s aroma.
The wind is needed to propel a sail, and a guitarist requires finely tuned chords. Although it might not be necessary, we swirl our wine to get the best wine experience.