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,
What does it mean to say a wine’s palate or aromas are “healthy”?
—Sharon, Shenzhen, China
Terms used in tasting notes are typically used very similarly to how they are used outside of describing wine. So, a healthy note in a wine is a positive, indicating the wine is robust, fit, lively or even vigorous. Depending on the context and exactly how it’s used, it might mean that a wine is surprisingly healthy considering its age—an older wine still showing some vibrancy, for example.
I’ve also used the slang “healthy dose” in tasting notes, as in “this wine has a healthy dose of oak.” That’s still a positive note, in this case meaning that there is a noticeable amount of oak, but that it doesn’t interfere with the wine’s other elements.
Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...
Learn to taste wine like a pro, pull a cork with flair, get great wine service in a restaurant and more
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.
Passionate about wine? Wine Spectator magazine is looking for an enthusiastic copy editor in the New York office.
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions
New! Ratings Flash