The Ins And Outs Of Legs On Wine

Wine tasting is the art of the sublime. It is part of the evaluation process in which we determine if a wine is superior or inferior. There are many subtle aspects to making this evaluation. One question is the role the legs of a wine play.

So, just what are we talking about here? What are wine legs? Well, they were originally known as the tears of wine, not the legs. Both phrases refer to the lines a wine makes when running down the side of a wine glass after the wine has been swirled.

The evaluation of the legs of a wine can be one of the more humorous moments in wine evaluation. Think back to the last time you drank wine with numerous people. There was always that one "sophisticated" person who swirled their wine and viewed it with a critical eye. In a golden moment of hilarity, they may have even held it up to the light as though they were looking into the soul of that particular wine.

Why is all this so funny? After all, the legs of a wine are an indicator of the quality of the wine, right? Actually, they are not. This is one of the biggest myths perpetrated in the world of wines. If you see someone evaluating the legs of a wine and opining on the quality of that wine based on the legs, you are listening to a person who does not know what they are talking about.

The legs of a wine are the result of alcohol evaporation, not the quality of a wine. The two dominant elements of wine are water and alcohol. Alcohol evaporates faster than water. This creates a tension on the surface of the wine. When the wine is swirled, the tension breaks and falls down the glass in streaks. The number of streaks might tell you how much alcohol has evaporated in a perfect world, but that is all.

If you raise this fact when drinking wine, you are probably going to need some evidence to back it up. There is a simple test that proves it. Open a bottle of wine, pour half a glass and then swirl it. There will be little or no legs apparent. Now wait for five minutes and do it again. Suddenly, there are more legs. Has the wine improved in quality? Nope, a bit of alcohol has simply evaporated.

There are many myths in the world of wine, so do not take things people talk about hook, line and sinker. If you have doubts, read up on it. The web is beautiful because you can find so much information that debunks the humorous myths of wine and other subjects as well.

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About The Author, Nomad Rick
Rick Chapo writes for - makers of wine tasting journals that make great gifts for wine lovers.