Why does wine cry?

If you’ve ever looked deeply into your glass of wine you may have noticed a rather unlikely sounding phenomenon – crying wine!

The phenomenon is called tears of wine but is sometimes referred to as wine legs, curtains or (less obviously) church windows. It’s most frequently observed in wine with a high alcohol content when a ring of clear liquid forms near the top of a glass of wine from which droplets continuously form and slide down the glass into the wine.

You can easily see it yourself if you look closely. Pour some wine into a glass, swirl it around to have a look at the colour and release those delicious aromas, then let it sit for a little while and look  closely. The wine that sloshed around the glass doesn’t drop straight back down but starts to drip down forming a veil of ‘tears’. The weird part is that having fallen into the glass they creep back up, and down, again.

Why? The answer, it turns out, is fascinating …


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