Have you ever been around someone that swirling their glass of wine? Then you hear them say “Wow, that smells like plumbs and fresh cut grass!” Then you smell your glass of wine – after all you just ordered the same wine they have!
What do you smell?
To get a good sense of swirling, you have to remember: everyone smells differently. So if your “sniffer” smells something different than someone else that’s ok!
Grab your favorite bottle of wine and your favorite wine glass (because you know you have one!). Pour to fill about 1/3 of the glass. If you pour too much you will be wearing your favorite wine once you start swirling. Then put your nose in the glass. Yes, IN THE GLASS! The farther down your nose is the greater the aroma. Did it smell good? Did you get past the sugar and alcohol?
Now start to swirl!
If you are left handed you want to swirl clockwise, and right handed you want to swirl counter clockwise. Put the glass on a flat surface and grip the stem close to the base of the glass. Swirl briskly to get the wine really moving in the glass. After swirling for a few seconds, smell the wine again. With your nose in the glass take a nice slow sniff. You may smell some greater aromas than the first time you smelled the glass of wine. What has happened is when you swirled your wine, you mixed the wine with oxygen. This allowed for the release of aromas that have been bound in the wine.
Now put you glass back down on a flat surface. This time, cup your hand over the glass of wine. Swirl again briskly with your hand still covering the top of the glass. Remember to get the wine really moving! Then, again with your nose in the glass, take another nice slow sniff. Did you notice a difference? Yes? The aromas come flying at you! When you cup your hand over the glass, you are holding in the the oxygen and aromas, thus only releasing the aromas when you take your hand off the glass.
It is important to smell wine because your smell and taste senses are so intricately connected. You know the saying “perfect practice makes perfect?” What better way to achieve that perfection than by swirling a glass of wine!
– Kimberly M. Derda
Midnight Run Wine Cellars