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,

When participating in a Champagne or sparkling wine tasting, do you swirl the glass or does that ruin the bubbles?

—Shellie R., Wheaton, Ill.

Dear Shellie,

Swirling has become so reflexive for me, I sometimes catch myself swirling my water glass. When it comes to bubbly, your instinct that excessive swirling might make the wine go flat is correct. A little swirl won’t hurt, but it’s less necessary than with still wine—all that carbonation in a glass of sparkling wine releases the aromatics without you having to use any wrist action.

—Dr. Vinny


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