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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.

Dear Dr. Vinny,

You’ve commented on storing wine with cigars, however, will the cigar smell eventually penetrate the corks as the air circulates?

—Bill, Austin, Texas

Dear Bill,

Yep, a while ago I addressed whether or not cigars and wine can be stored together. If you recall, I wrote that it won’t hurt your wine, but it could hurt your cigars—cigars need a warmer, more humid environment than a wine cellar for long-term storage.

As far as the odors of cigars penetrating a bottle of wine, I don’t think it’s possible for any environmental smell to permeate a wine cork (let alone the capsule or wax that covers it). But if you put cigars next to wine, the lovely aroma might penetrate the label, which in effect could still alter your experience of drinking the wine into feeling like you’re simultaneously smoking a cigar.

Cigars certainly have strong odors, so much so that some of my purist cigar-smoking friends will only store similar cigars together so there isn’t any cross-contamination. If you have a small cigar collection but don’t want to invest in an expensive humidor, check out some of the travel humidors—they start at about $20 and have humidity monitors in them. And by all means, if you have more questions about cigars, check out my friends at

—Dr. Vinny

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