Everyone has their own way of swirling wine. But, why do we do it?

To find out more about swirling wine, we decided to ask the expert, Beth Ribblett, owner of Swirl Wine Bar in Bayou St. John.

Beth Ribbet, owner of Swirl Wine Bar, enjoying vino at her wine shop in MidCity.

Beth Ribbet, owner of Swirl Wine Bar, enjoying vino at her wine shop in MidCity.

 

What is the purpose of swirling wine?

Swirling wine does two things. First, it acts as an aeration, which brings oxygen into the wine which helps release aromatics (think of it as built in aerator). Second, is that when you swirl wine, you coat the glass, which again helps bring out the aromatics of the wine.
For me, aromatics are as important to me as how the wine tastes, and sometimes I get so caught in aromatics that the taste becomes less import. This is both good and bad, because if I don’t like the way a wine smells, I might not buy it. Even if the wine is beautiful on the palate, if the aromatics are off or funky, I probably wont buy it.

What is the best way to Swirl wine?

Gently.

How should I hold the wine glass when I swirl, in the air or on the table?

You can do it either way, there isn’t one way that works better than others. It probably is easier to swirl on a surface compared to holding the glass, but one way does not work better than the other.

Do you swirl every type of wine?

I do, mainly because it’s a habit. You don’t technically need to swirl champagne, the type of glass that champagne comes in makes it difficult, but again, because of habit, I swirl just about everything.  

When tasting, how many times should you swirl wine?

I don’t think there’s a number or an answer to that. It wont hurt the wine to swirl it before every time you drink. Its about whatever increases your experience.
I read a Facebook book post recently that said that you look snobby when you swirl wine too much and that it’s a wine snob habit. It’s not, Swirling wine is a habit for people who tend to drink wine and for people who are in the wine business because it’s the way to drink wine and enjoy the aromatics.

If you want to learn more about tasting & Swirling wine, stop by Swirl Wine Bar on Fridays for a FREE wine tasting. 


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