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,

Why do people worry so much about wine storage? We have no idea how the wine was treated before it got to the store, or how it was treated in the store. Yet when we get our wine home, we can’t wait to put our bottle of wine in the proper storage. Will one more day or month really hurt the taste of that oh-so-dainty bottle of wine?

—Gregg D., St. Paul, Minn.

Dear Gregg,

I get your point. If you’re going to worry about storage, that means you have to also pay attention to where the wine is coming from, and patronize wine shops that take care of their wines before they sell them to you, care about shipping wines in warm weather, and avoid picking bottles that have been sitting in windows in the sun.

Will one more day hurt a bottle of wine? Probably not, unless you put it through extreme conditions, like the time I left some bottles in the trunk of my car on a summer day. A full month, though, will not do your wine any favors.

Some people may be asking about storage because they heard that wine can be aged, so they think they should age it. What’s puzzling is that many of these people may not know if they actually like the taste of older wines. To be fair, many of the questions I get about storage are from some pretty serious wine geeks who have started to invest in some special bottles, and don’t want their investment (or wine) to be ruined.

You and I should be gentle with these budding wine lovers, because wine can be such a strange and mysterious beverage, full of mystique and rituals. After all, it wasn’t that long ago we were both wine newbies too.

—Dr. Vinny


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