What do the "legs" on the inside of a wineglass tell a taster?

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Dear Dr. Vinny,

What do the legs on the inside of a Riedel glass tell a taster?

—Ron M., Seymour, Tenn.

Dear Ron,

Not much, I’m afraid. “Legs” are those streaks that trickle down the side of any wineglass after you swirl it (though they might be particularly beautiful in a Riedel glass, they are not exclusive to the brand). The legs are caused by alcohol, so it’s thought that the more legs, the higher the alcohol content of a wine. But most wines are within a few percentage points of one other, and I find that “reading” legs is less useful than reading the actual alcohol percentage on the label.

—Dr. Vinny

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