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.


Dear Dr. Vinny,

What does it mean when a wine review says the wine has an “open-knit texture”?

—Lynelle L.

Dear Lynelle,

Whenever a wine’s “knit” is described, it’s way to refer to the relationship between a wine’s elements, such as acid, tannin, alcohol and glycerol. “Close-knit,” “tightly knit” and “open-knit” are very similar to the terms “closed,” “tight” and “open.” But adding the “knit” is a way to refer to a wine’s structure, and not just its flavors or personality.

So an “open-knit” wine is one that is approachable, probably with soft or fleshy tannins. The opposite would be a closed or tightly knit wine, with would be more compact, less approachable and more inexpressive. When I read about a “close-knit” or “tightly knit” wine, I’m usually under the impression that the wine needs some time to open up.

—Dr. Vinny


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