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Ask Dr. Vinny

Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs. You can also follow me on Twitter: @AskDrVinny.

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Dear Dr. Vinny,

What's the name of the cloth used to cover a bottle for a blind tasting? Is it a blind tasting sleeve, or a blind tasting bottle cover?

—Beatrice, Toulouse, France

Dear Beatrice,

I trust that you know that a blind tasting doesn’t require the taster to wear a blindfold. A blind tasting means that a taster doesn’t know exactly what they’re tasting. At Wine Spectator, we review wines in single-blind tastings. That means we don’t know who the producer is or how much the bottle of wine costs, but we know the region and vintage. In a double-blind tasting, no information is given at all.

At Wine Spectator, we use simple paper bags and rubber bands to set up our blind tastings. I’ve also seen foil, wrapping paper and gift bags used. If you’re looking to purchase something, I think you could ask for either a wine sleeve or wine bag.

—Dr. Vinny

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