We want to clear something up right now: wine legs don’t matter.

In fact, in all of our years involved in wine, we’ve never met anyone who could read them correctly. Nor could they explain why they believe they matter. But, just in case you encounter someone who wants to talk about legs, and claims to understand them, here’s a quick explanation so you’re prepared.

Wine legs, also referred to by the French as the “tears of a wine,” are the droplets or streaks of water that form on the inside of a wine glass as you move the wine around. While some people think these legs relate to the quality, sweetness or viscosity of the wine, THEY DO NOT. In fact, wine legs are just a representation of how much alcohol is in a wine. That said, we have never met anyone who could correctly “read” those legs and then tell us the level of alcohol in the wine. And why should they bother when the alcohol percentage is already printed on the wine label?

So while wine legs look beautiful in a glass as they streak down the sides, don’t worry about reading them, as they don’t matter. Just enjoy the wine and the visual!