Swirling lifts the aromas- the Chablis smells just like freshly squeezed lemons with minerals, while the American wine is ripe pineapple, citrus, melon, with toasty oak and honeyed nuts from bottle age. Both are from the same grape, but one cool and crisp the other opulent, oaked and mature.
The temptation is to drink, but aerate instead, take a good mouthful and then suck air in over the wine, it’s like sucking in spaghetti or whistling backwards. Wow it is amazing how much more flavor you get! To put it in perspective for every taste bud you have on your tongue you have 10,000 taste receptors in your nose. Spit if you like as there are no taste buds in your throat. The Chablis has mouth watering acidity which tingles on the sides of the tongue, whereas the texture of the ripe American Chardonnay is rounded, buttery, with a spice note from the oak. Look for balance, complexity and length of flavor. But ultimately the important thing is whether you like it.
By aerating the wine you highlight both the good and the bad – the key is to remember what you like and what you don’t. Cheers!