Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

(to rhyme with ‘ears’), term used to describe the behaviour of the liquid climbing and falling in a glass of relatively strong wine. The wine wets the inside of a clean glass and climbs up a few millimetres. or even centimetres. At the upper edge of the thin layer on the inside wall patches of the film thicken, become more drop-like, and eventually roll back down the inside wall to the liquid surface. These traces of what look like particularly viscous droplets are also sometimes called ‘legs’, and may give some indication of a wine’s alcoholic strength. (But note that some of the finest German wines may have only 7 or 8% alcohol but still form very obvious tears.)