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,

If a bottle of wine tastes better on the second day, does that mean it is a bottle that would benefit from aging?

—Jody, Santa Monica, Calif.

Dear Jody,

No. And maybe. Let me explain. First off, opening a bottle and letting it sit for a day will expose a wine to oxygen. That’s not exactly the same type of science that happens when a wine ages. Aging wine means that compounds interact, phenolic molecules combine to form tannin polymers, and other magic. There really is no way to rush time, not even in a bottle of wine. And you can’t save time in a bottle. Even Jim Croce knows that.

That said, there’s a mild similarity to what happens to some wines with more air—their tannins might soften, and wines with bottle age sometimes have softer tannins. That’s not a lot of information to go on, and not a lot of assumptions can be made. I think it’s helpful to remember that a wine cellar is not a wine hospital. If you don’t like a wine when it’s young, it’s not going to magically turn delicious with age. But if you like a wine when it’s young, and you still like it a day or two later, you might also appreciate it when it’s older.

—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.