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,

Being somewhat new to wine and the wine ratings in Wine Spectator, I was wondering why the grape type(s) are omitted from tasting notes on most Bordeaux and Rhône wines?

—Randy K., via the Internet

Dear Randy,

Regulations mandate which grapes are allowed for wines produced in both Bordeaux and the Rhône Valley. While there is variation from wine to wine on the percentages used in each blend, the grapes will always be those specific to the appellation.

Our thinking is that if we listed these grapes each time we printed a review in our buying guide, the information would become repetitive, take up considerable more space, and ultimately we would not be able to print as many reviews.

Here's some information to get you started: The Grapes of Bordeaux and The ABCs of the Southern Rhône Valley.

—Dr. Vinny


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