What do you think of our new mobile-responsive site? Take our survey.
Log In / Join Now

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.




Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...

Dear Dr. Vinny,

Is storing wine underground a viable option? I don’t mean to just toss the bottles in the dirt, of course, but in an appropriate, sealed container. Temps in Las Vegas get pretty hot. Absent a proper storage facility, is underground storage OK?

—Timothy G., Las Vegas

Dear Timothy,

Sure, there’s a reason why wine cellars and caves are historically built in the ground. It typically stays cool, dark and humid underground, perfect for wine storage. I’m sure you realize it’s not convenient (“Honey, I’m going in the backyard with a shovel to get a wine for dinner!”), but burying your wine could work for long-term storage. My only concern is that the labels might decompose, as would any cardboard or wood container. But if you have the wine stored in a decomposition-proof container, and you draw yourself a decent pirate map to remember where it was buried, I think that’s a fine idea.

—Dr. Vinny

Wine Basics

We break down the basics—how to taste, serve, store and more. Plus:
» Maps of major wine regions
» Grape variety characteristics

How-to Videos

Learn to taste wine like a pro, pull a cork with flair, get great wine service in a restaurant and more

Wine Spectator School: All courses are FREE for WineSpectator.com Members

Learn from the experts and get the most out of each sip. Take one of our online courses or take them all—from the ABCs of Tasting to in-depth seminars on Food Pairing, California Cabernet, Bordeaux, Tuscany, Sensory Evaluation and more.

Browse our course catalog
Check out the professional wine sales and service courses
Learn Wine Forum: Got questions? Get answers


WineRatings+ app: Download now for 300,000+ ratings.