Picture this situation – you’re enjoying a glass of wine after a hard day of work. You put some background music - probably some jazz - and serve yourself a glass of wine. You swirl your glass and get a tiny bit hypnotized by those droplets of wine that are formed on the inside of the glass. Those, our friends, are called wine legs, but you can also call them tears of wine, fingers, curtains, the Gibbs-Marangoni Effect, or even church windows. This phenomenon manifested as a ring of clear liquid near the top of a glass of wine, from which droplets continuously form and drop back into the wine, used to be considered an indicator for higher quality wines but that is not correct. It’s actually a scientific phenomenon that can tell you key information about the alcohol level in wine. High alcohol wines collect a higher density of droplets on the sides of the glass than low alcohol wines. Sweeter wines are more viscous, the tears will flow slower down the sides of a glass. Why do wine legs appear? By swirling your wine, you create a thin film of wine on the surface of the glass. As the alcohol evaporates creating wine aromas, the leftover water/wine mix collects on the sides, creating droplets that fall back into the glass. Therefore, evaporation is the key to why wine legs appear.
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