CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

The actress and late night host also played a flinching game involving a fruit cannon and martinis.

Adam Campbell-Schmitt
March 29, 2018

Ask any wine aficionado how to get the most out of every sip, and they're sure to have at least one or two tips on how to best experience wine's bouquet, flavor, and mouthfeel. Academy Award-winning actress and world traveler Hillary Swank is no exception, except that her unorthodox tasting methods aren't entirely on the level—and that's on purpose. On Last night's The Late Late Show, the Trust star confessed to host James Corden that on a trip to Italy's Piedmont region with her brother Daniel Swank, the siblings conspired to make up odd ways of aerating wine during a tasting as an inside joke.

Swank recalled her brother's take of vigorously shaking the wine glass in his hand and demonstrated two of her own methods: an overly exaggerated arm swirl with a sniff that looks more like one you'd give to check if milk is sour than if the wine has any floral notes and another that involved flicking the wine glass and listening to it. The actress admits their antics may have only been amusing to the pair themselves, but do poke some warranted fun at some of the overzealous wine snobs among us.

Last night's show also featured a recurring game called "Flinch" in which the guests must stand behind a plexiglass wall while a cannon fires fruit at them. The point? To let the impact occur without, well, flinching. The twist this time around came in the form of a tray of ice-cold martinis, which Corden, Swank, and the rest of the panel would need to avoid spilling as part of the challenge.

Silicon Valley star Zach Woods was unable to keep his cocktail contained as the cannon hurled a piece of fruit at the protective glass, spilling some. Swank was as rock solid as can be, just blinking as the fruit cannon fired. Singer Shawn Mendes, who is of drinking age in his native Britain but underage here in the States, tried his best to keep a martini glass full of milk upright. And finally Corden, who given that this is a game of his own invention, just stood casually behind the barrier asking "did you do it yet?" after the cannon had gone off. So it seems while Swank may make light of wine tasting, when it comes to keeping her glass full, she's all business.