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,

I’ve heard that nitrogen can stop wine from going bad when you’ve opened a bottle and poured just one glass. I am lucky to have a nitrogen generator in the factory I work for. Have you had any experience on how to get this nitrogen into the bottle?

—Alain H., Negombo, Sri Lanka

Dear Alain,

Please step away from the nitrogen generator! Here in the United States, wine consumers can buy cylinders of compressed nitrogen specifically made for wine preservation. A quick squirt is all people need; the inert gas fills up the extra space in the bottle. The nitrogen displaces the air, which is good because the longer an open bottle of wine is exposed to oxygen, the more it will begin to fade.

I know it’s tempting to use science to help preserve open bottles of wine, but messing around with an industrial nitrogen generator sounds like it could be dangerous, so I can’t recommend it. Here’s another method: simply transfer your leftover wine to a smaller container, where less of its surface is exposed to oxygen, and keep it in your refrigerator, which will slow down oxidation. With this method, you might be able to enjoy the wine for a few days before you notice any changes.

—Dr. Vinny


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

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

MEMBER LOGIN

= members only

Keep me logged in      Forgot Password?

Free Email Newsletters

Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions

» View samples
» Or sign up now!
» Manage my newsletter preferences

Classifieds

The marketplace for all your wine needs, including:

Wine Storage | Wine Clubs
Dining & Travel | Wine Auctions
Wine Shops | Wine Accessories