Brandy Snifter Twirling


Why is it, that when people drink brandy from a snifter, they swish the brady in a circular motion at the bottom of the glass?

Thank you,

My WAG is that it allows some of the brandy to briefly wash up the sides of the glass. When the swirling stops, and the brandy returns to “sea level”, a thin film of brandy remains clinging to the side of the glass. This evaporates quickly, intensifying the aroma.

Yeah, it’s to smell it better.

Of course, the French drink their brandy from small squat glasses, like a slightly larger shot glass. When I order my digestif, I ask politely not to have to brought in one of those god damn snifters.

Yup. Some might refer to this as “volatizing the esters,” although that’s pretty snooty.

With wine, the swirling also allows you to get a rough idea of how alcoholic it is. If the thin film on the sides runs back down uniformly, it’s relatively less alcoholic. If the film bands up (called “having legs”), it’s heavier.