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Teach Your Pretentious Friend How To Swirl Wine Using Science

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Everyone has one of those annoying friends who thinks they know everything about wine. But here's some science you can wheel out next time they come over all condescending.

For three long, booze-soaked years, scientists from the Federal Polytechnic School in Lausanne have studied the swirling of wine. It's what pretentious folk do before they taste the stuff. Why? Firstly it makes it easier to smell the complex aromatic compounds in the wine, second it aerates it which changes the flavours subtly.


But these researchers have studied how the liquid swirls, and found out there's a right way to do it, and a wrong way. Mohammed Farhat, one of the researchers, told The Guardian:

"We noticed that the mechanism involved in turning the wine in the glass was both efficient in terms of mixing gently but also very economical in terms of energy. However, it is almost impossible to create a mathematical model of this and involves some very complicated aspects of the dynamics of fluids."


But even if maths doesn't quite come to the rescue, there is some solace in science. To get the efficient swirling happening, you need to balance the ratio of the diameter of the glass relative to the level of wine, as well as the relationship between the diameter and width of rotation. If that sounds complicated, watch the video to be mesmerised by swirling liquid and pick some tips up along the way.

Now, excuse me while I go conduct some experiments of my own. Hic. [The Guardian and New Scientist; Image: Mr. T in DC]