Warming, decanting and swirling: do they make wine taste better?

Do you scrutinize the look of a wine before swirling it in the bottle (holding the stem naturally)? Take a deep breath while you describe the extravagant characteristics that are your Shiraz. Do you enjoy that slurpy action that a few love but others dislike?

Or perhaps you snap the cap open and then dig right in.

If you’re in this category, then the ritual that is associated with wine could appear like a bit of wankery. But is science in your favor?


The basic wine etiquette suggests that white wines should be served chilled and red wine at room temperature. Is it really that important? Actually, yes.

Our senses of smell and taste are based on chemical reactions. Like any chemical reaction, colder means slower, which means less aroma in reds and whites. However, we’re still not sure about the precise physiological reasons for the effect of temperature on the taste.

Don’t serve your whites cold. You should aim for around 11 degrees Celsius. Remember that your fridge can be slightly too hard for whites, just like Ice buckets. The excessive temperatures could irreparably damage the wine. However, your refrigerator won’t.

When the glass is cold, place the glass bowl in your hands and try to warm it up, or wait until you are able to. It is also possible to use this advantage to your advantage. If you’re drinking wine that ought to return to that horse where it was chilled, you can chill it down and consume it swiftly before it gets warm.

Aerating and decanting

The process is getting rid of the sediment that builds into a wine over time. This was once a necessity for all types of wines, not just white wines.

Nowadays, it’s required for reds with ” thrown a crust” since there’s no need to take a mouthful of sludge. You can find a wealth of ideas on the internet, one of which includes lighting a candle that is perfect for romantic times.

Another reason to decant is to allow aeration. There are a variety of opinions regarding the merits of aeration as a thing or not.

Wines definitely alter when exposed to the air. Have you ever thought about the wine bottle you tasted a week later after opening it? It was not a pleasant experience. It’s because the wine was oxidized in the same way that apples turn brown. When oxygen is present, bacteria, naturally occurring ones, transform alcohol and sugar into acetic acid. This makes the wine taste vinegary.

The main question is whether wine gets better by exposure to air before it becomes unpalatable. It is contingent on at minimum three elements:

  1. the wine being questioned (such as the region or grape type)
  2. how long will you keep it in the bottle?
  3. What you prefer about your wine, there’s no universal solution.

An informal test carried out by the Australian Wine Research Institute shows that the sensory qualities of wine when it is placed in decanters are not likely to alter much in comparison to the wine that remains inside the bottle. However, they do take note of the fact that aeration can allow hydrogen sulfur (a flaw in wine) to disperse. This typically only affects poor-quality wines.

In the book 1983, The Taste of Wine, French wine expert Emile Peynaud discusses aeration. He discusses the results of studies that show that the wine’s age is a major factor to consider when it comes to decanting older wines. Long periods could actually diminish their aroma.

Should you decant? Yes, it would help if you decanted to keep out the build-up of sediment. Do you need to air-dry? It depends on your personal preference and depending on your wine. There are quite funky design wine decanters on the market, and you are free to play around, at least for the sake of display.


There’s been some fascinating research into swirling, such as the research study on fluid dynamics. The researchers found that a variety of aspects (including the glass’s diameter) could have an impact on the kind of waves that you experience when swirling an awesome party trick. Check out this video.

A simple circular movement of the glass creates an energy wave that propagates through the glass’s walls, which increases the mixing and oxygenation.

The reason for this procedure is to let more wine come in contact with oxygen and to stir it to let odors out, as well as to boost the volume of wine, which enhances the quantity of smell that is released. However, is it making an impact on the smell or taste that the wine has?

Why not try an experiment on your own? Get a helper to help you. Wear a blindfold, and have the person pour three samples of similar bottles in glasses that are identical. Make them swirl each one. Try the three (no taking a peek!) and see if it is possible to decide which one is different.

To test your scientific rigor, try this on several occasions (let’s say ten times using fresh glasses) and then see how many times you are able to get it right. You’ll score a number out of 10, with a chance of 3.33. However, you’ll need to convince a few others to take part in the experiment for you to make any decisions. It shouldn’t be difficult to convince your friends to participate, and someone should drink a lot of wine.

The temperature of the serving is crucial. Aerating and swirling are more debatable. People may think that they do what they believe that they will, and there’s plenty of research in the literature on wine about the effects on expectations on perception of wine.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *