Question from Sheila: We were out to dinner with some friends and my girlfriend said the wine had good legs. I didn’t want to look stupid so I didn’t ask her what she meant. Is that good?
Reply: Thanks for writing, Sheila. This is a very common question and a source of unneccesary confusion about wine!
The term, “legs” (the British call them tears or candles) refers to the driplets of wine you see coming down inside the glass of wine after the wine has been swirled or has coated the glass.
One of the most persistent wine myths is that “good legs” are a sign of good quality. No matter what anyone says, the legs don’t tell you a thing about quality. Wine with a generous amount of alcohol, at least 11.5 or 12%, and that’s wine at every price point, has good legs.
TRIVIA! If you were taking the Master Sommelier exam, good legs might tell you that the wine came from a relatively warm climate or warm vintage. Warm weather = high sugar = hefty alcohol. Continue reading