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What wines should be swirled in the glass before drinking them?

A. All wines

B. All wines except Champagne

C. All wines except Champagne and dessert wines

D. The only wines that really need to be swirled are powerful red wines

A.

Whites, reds, rosés, Champagnes, fortified wines, dessert wines—you name it—they should all be swirled before drinking them. Swirling aerates or “opens up” a wine by mixing the volatile (smellable) compounds in the wine with air. Wines that have been swirled smell and taste more pronounced. Admittedly, fortified wines like Port are usually swirled gently because really vigorous swirling can cause the alcohol in such wines to smell overpowering. As for Champagnes and sparkling wines, though the bubbles help by propelling the aromas upward, it’s still a good idea to swirl the wine gently. If you have room that is. Alas, in the United States, most sparkling wines and Champagnes are poured to the top of the rim of the glass, making it nearly impossible to swirl.

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