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Beverages/Causation of residue on inside of Snifter while drinking Rum?

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Question
While drinking Rum from a snifter glass, I have noticed that the upon the movement of the beverage within the glass, a syrupy trail is left which eventually dissipates back into the beverage leaving droplets on the inside of the glass. I have read of the phenomenon known as Belgian/Brussels Lace, and am wondering if this is the cause? No other type of non-alcohol beverage is used in this glass and once completed, I only use hot water to clean it out. Does this indicate a defect in the glassware, the need to wash it more thoroughly with dishwashing liquid, or something else?

Answer
Hi Alex

What you are seeing on the side of the glass is called legs or tears.  They are a result of the surface tension in alcoholic beverages...and the higher the alcohol, the more legs you see.

This phenomenon is used by wine experts in their analysis of the wine in the glass, as riper wines have more alcohol and consequently more substantial legs.

Rum, which has far more alcohol than wine, will show pronounced legs when it is swirled in the glass or snifter.

Hope that helps!

Paul Wagner  

Beverages

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Paul Wagner

Expertise

I have spent most of my adult life eating and drinking throughout the world, and can usually remember some of it! With Rick Kushman of Capital Public Radio, I host a radio show and podcast called Bottletalk at rickandpaulwine.com, where I answer questions about food and drink on the air.

Experience

30 years in the business.

Education/Credentials
I have taught at Napa Valley College for the past 20 years.

Past/Present Clients
Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines Company, The Court of Master Sommeliers, Constellation Wines, The Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux, Vinitaly, Napa County Agricultural Commissioner.

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