Wine Tasting Lessons? The Art of Orbital Agitation

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By Andy T

Wine tasting lessonsAficionados around the world take their wine tasting very seriously. With terms such as vertical and horizontal tasting, and oenologists making grave calculations over the analysis of wine, drinkers often feel left in the dark.

Now, however, just when you thought things couldn’t get any more complicated, a team of Swiss scientists have devised what they think is the best way to turn a glass, the “perfect gesture” to release the complex aromas of wine.

Termed ‘orbital agitation’, the scientists have spent three years sweating it out in the Federal Polytechnic School in Lausanne, Switzerland, working with ideas from winemakers and sommeliers in order to create the ultimate swirl.

Researcher Mohammed Farhat says orbital agitation “involves some very complicated aspects of the dynamics of fluids”. Wonderful, but does that justify the spending of taxpayers’ money?

Farhat says it does, as “the gentle hand movement that releases the aromas in wine could be applied to large quantities of cells”, meaning apart from merely refining hedonistic pursuits, the research could also benefit the pharmaceutical industry.

Aiding the pharmaceutical industry with gentle hand movements? Orbital agitation? The editors at The Fox Gazette think this sounds suspiciously New Age, and have since sent in several undercover reporters to investigate suspected Dionysus rituals being performed at the school.

Such suspicions have gained credibility after what appears to be an inebriated interview with French newspaper Le Figaro, with Farhat concluding after three years’ research – “in turning the glass we notice this created a wave of up and down and in and out the side of the glass in which all the liquid was mixed”.

The investigation continues.

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