Red wine reveals many of its secrets upon visual inspection: alcohol content, consistency, freshness, age … are all evident to the naked eye before reaching the nose or mouth
Each of us during the Sommelier courses listened to the instructions regarding the visual inspection of the wine with a certain condescending air.
Do not deny it; it has happened to all of us.
To begin with it is the aroma and tastes that attract attention because they are a rediscovery of the senses, that for the past century we have all used very little. Our lifestyle and the structure of our brain privilege sight, while the use of the nose and tongue has progressively been reduced to a simple “I like it” or “I don’t like it”. The Sommelier course is often a way to rediscover aromas and tastes because slowly they become understandable messages.
SWIRLING THE WINE IN THE GLASS
For this reason the visual analysis is often underestimated whereas listening to people such as the World Champion Sommelier Luca Martini, it is easy to understand how important this is in understanding a wine. His first suggestion is to <<look at how the wine moves in the glass>> the slowness is typical in rich wines while the watery ones with no substance are much faster. Generally filtering worsens the situation.
The legs left on the inside of the glass once the wine has swirled tell us a lot especially the way they descend. More alcoholic components there are (ethanol, glycerol) closer together the legs will be.