Wine has legs?
Question from Cassy: I’ve got a wino friend who goes on about the wine’s ‘legs’ whenever I’m with him. I have no idea what he’s talking about but I’m under the impression it’s got something to do with how good the wine is? What are wine ‘legs’ and why do they matter?
In a nut shell: Nooooooooooooooooo! It has nothing to do with the quality of the wine and to be perfectly honest wine ‘legs’ don’t matter at all! Whatever he’s telling you is absolute rubbish. Wine ‘legs’ (the droplets that form on the inside of the glass as you move it around) indicate a higher level of alcohol or a higher level of sweetness. That is all. Full stop!
In a clam shell: So ‘legs’ or ‘tears of the wine’ as the French call it are the droplets or streaks of liquid you see streaming down the inside of the glass after swirling it around.
It’s an indication of alcohol or sweetness and nothing else. If you’re drinking a dry wine and the ‘legs’ are thicker and more apparent than the wine you drank last night you can assume is has a higher alcohol content. If it’s a sweet wine and the ‘legs’ are heavy you can assume it’s going to be super sweet.
But you’re far better to read the alcohol percentage on the bottle than to try and guess the alcohol content based on the ‘legs’. Ignore your friend’s waffle and correct him with the exact percentage, which you cleverly found on the back of the bottle.