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Wine Tasting - The Second S - Swirl


Next up in this blog series on wine tasting, we’re going to learn about the Second S which is “Swirl”.

At the end of my last blog post, we swirled the wine in our glass and held it against a white surface. We could “see” the wine legs flow down the inside of our glass which helped us determine whether the wine was lower or higher in alcohol content.


Why Swirl

Swirling is also where you’re preparing the wine for the next two Ss. By swirling the wine in your glass, you’re releasing Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) which will make the wine smell and taste better. This is because you’re oxygenating the wine and releasing 30 to 40% of the SO2.

Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) is used in winemaking to achieve desirable benefits for both you and your wine.

First, it promotes antioxidants which protect the colour and flavour of the wine. This is because it extracts antioxidants, colour and tannins from the skins of the grapes. It also prevents oxidation which protects the colour of your wine.

Second, it acts as a necessary preservative which will allow you to age your wine without compromising its quality.

Third, it has antiseptic properties which prevent unwanted bacteria or yeasts from developing.

Lastly, it has a clarifying effect on the wine.

All of these benefits contribute to the health, quality and stability of your wine.

As one of the most common preservatives used in the food industry, it’s no surprise that Sulphur Dioxide it is also needed in the beverage industry. In DIY winemaking, we use Potassium Metabisulphite which is 55% Sulphur Dioxide.


How to Swirl

If you want to swirl like a sommelier, hold the glass by the base and move it horizontally in a circular motion. Oops, let’s not lose any wine by doing it too enthusiastically! Personally, I like to hold my glass by the stem because it feels like I have better control. You can also place it on the table and swirl it on the surface to feel ultimate control.


Remember to take notes at each stage of the wine tasting process.


We hope you’re enjoying our new blog series on wine tasting and that the Second S has you intrigued to learn more.

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk on Pexels