|Wine Hints from Bottlenotes, an online wine newsletter|
Hint: Don’t Hold It Up To A Light
So you’re at a party and someone swirls a glass of wine, holds it up to the light and comments on its "legs."
Should you be impressed?
That person clearly came alone and is just trying to get some attention.
The only reason to hold a glass up to the light is because you’re looking for the gnat that fell in.
If you really want to "see" the wine in your glass, tip it over a white surface. Now the color is accurate. If it’s a lighter white or a purpley red, its probably a younger wine. As they age, white wines get darker, whereas red wines get lighter. But both will tend towards brown.
But now your brain is prepared. If it’s a younger wine, you can probably expect fruitier flavors when you taste it. An older wine will have less fruit, more "earthiness".
Too much brown can also mean the wine is bad. So prepare for that too.
If your red wine has black sludge at the bottom of the glass, it’s because its aged. It’s the result of a scientific process, but since we skipped Chemistry class, think of it as the coloring dripping out of the wine and falling to the bottom. That’s why reds get lighter as they age.
Can you drink the sludge? It certainly won’t hurt you and if you pour us a1945 Chateau Lafite odds are good we’re going to lick the glass clean.