Swirling can make your wine taste better

Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology found that the technique, favoured by most of the connoisseurs at dinner parties and tastings, really works as it involves sophisticated physics of wave technology.

The findings, they said, could also have benefits for drugs research and help inspire new medical treatments, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Fluid experts have long observed the action, known as the “orbital shaking”, churns the liquid as it travels, drawing in oxygen from the air and intensifying the smell.

“The formation of this wave has probably been known since the introduction of glass or any other kind of cylindrical bowl, but what has been lacking is a description of the physics related to the mixing and oxygenation,” said Mohamed Farhat who led the study.To figure out how the mixing occurs, Dr Farhat and his researchers tracked the motion of travelling waves in clear cylinders with state of the art instruments while measuring the velocity of the liquid.Dr Farhat said: “As the wave propagates along the glass wall, the liquid is displaced back and forth from bottom to top and from the centre to the periphery.

“This pumping mechanism, induced by the wave, is more pronounced near the free surface and close to the wall, which enhances the mixing.”

He added the study, presented at a physics meeting in Baltimore, also found “for a given glass shape, the mixing and oxygenation may be optimised with an appropriate choice of shaking diameter and rotation speed.

“The intuitive and efficient motion of wine swirling has inspired engineers in the field of biopharmaceuticals.”

Dr Farhat said this is where cell cultures are placed in large cylindrical containers — or bioreactors — and “shaken” in a manner similar to the aeration of a glass of wine.

The study shows that “such bioreactors offer better mixing and oxygenation over existing stirred tanks, provided that operating parameters are carefully optimised,” he said.

“Moreover, the gentle nature of orbital shaking also ensures a better viability and growth rate of the cells at reduced cost,” he added.

Wine buffs always say it is customary to smell your drink before the first sip .

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