JWL Issue #014: What do Legs Really Mean?

August 7, 2018

I start this week with a question for all of you. I’m currently preparing a podcast on English wine. The plan is to do a six-part series introducing the English wine regions, explaining what’s on offer, who’s making it, and why you should be drinking it. 

The question is what do I call it. When I came up with the (rather unimaginative) Josh’s Wine List moniker, I hadn’t foreseen a second strand to it. Do I keep it anyway, and name it something like ‘An introduction to English wine - by Josh’s Wine List’ or find a new name altogether.

Answers on a postcard please, along with the usual questions and recommendations of things you’ve all been drinking.


Romanian producer Calusari makes a fantastic pinot noir from the Viile Timisului region. Hennings sell it for just £8.50, which is a bargain but I’ve seen it in a few London bars around the £20-30 mark too. It’s got the pinot fruit you expect, but a bit of earthy depth to it as well. I prefer it slightly chilled.

Another Loire Valley white came into my world recently, with the Booths own label Vouvray. I’d never heard of Booths before, but turns out it's a pretty renowned supermarket in the north. Fortunately for southerners, Booths are now stocked via Amazon Fresh as well as in-store, where you can pick this up for £9.99. If you’re doing an Amazon Fresh shop, I’d highly recommend this. This is off-dry, softly aromatic with some light spices as well. A bargain and a joy to realise you can get it so easily from Amazon.


What do legs actually mean?

I had a question this week from someone asking about the legs when you swirl your wine glass. The legs - sometimes known as tears - are the streaks that trickle down the glass after having swirled it. 

Legs appear thanks to either (a) higher alcohol content which evaporates around the glass or (b) high sugar content, where the viscous liquid takes longer to drop back to the glass. 

It’s quite a hotly contested issue amongst wine geeks whether there’s much to it or not. With website WinePair writing at length (here and here) about how useless they are.



This like many words in wine jargon is open to interpretation. Broadly, it means wines that are light-bodied and highly acidic. Fresh lemonade is racy. Smoothie is not. 

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