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.


Dear Dr. Vinny,

I’m new to wine, and am curious about how people usually learn about wine. Could you please give me some advice on how one could learn more efficiently?

—Erica, Beijing

Dear Erica,

I’ve answered variations of this question before, and my key advice is to make sure every sip counts. Start getting in the habit of recording the wines you try by keeping a journal or even taking pictures of what you’re drinking. After a while, all these data points will start linking up together, and you’ll be able to look back and realize, for example, that you like most Sauvignon Blancs more than most Chardonnays, or that you find the wines of Spain to be really appealing.

You might also find it helpful to start or join a tasting group, even if it’s just some friends getting together informally over a few glasses of wine and talking about what you like and what you don’t. And might I also recommend a terrific magazine, website, app and online school for you to check out?

—Dr. Vinny


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