Log In / Join Now

Ask Dr. Vinny

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

Dear Dr. Vinny,

When removing the foil from a bottle of wine, I’ve gotten into the habit of just peeling the whole foil capsule off the bottle, instead of cutting the foil and removing the top. I find this to be faster and I don’t get any rough edges of foil. Is this acceptable, or is it considered a crude or barbaric way of dealing with the capsule?

—Malcolm K., Mission Viejo, Calif.

Dear Malcolm,

I do the same in the privacy of my own home, and no one has ever called me crude or barbaric, at least not to my face. When decanting an older bottle of wine, it’s really helpful to take off the entire capsule, so it’s easier to see when the sediment hits and it’s time to stop pouring.

However, in formal service, the capsule is considered part of the entire package of the bottle, and that’s why only the top part of the capsule is removed in restaurants.

—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 340,000+ ratings.