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,

In one of the learning wine courses, I read the following statement: “One of the things I recommend is to buy a case of wine and taste a bottle. Then let it sit for six months and taste it again, and then let it go for a year before trying another bottle.”

My question is, what is the correct way to “sit” the wine for a long time? Just close the cap without injecting argon? Something else?

—Mabel L., Taipei, Taiwan

Dear Mabel,

I can see how that might be confusing! I believe the author of that statement wasn’t suggesting that you keep a single open bottle of wine around for six months or a year, but rather that you open a new bottle of the same wine after six months and after a year to track the wine’s evolution as it ages.

This is good advice if you have the resources to purchase multiple bottles of a wine and if you have a good place to store them, with consistent temperatures, and away from excessive light, heat and vibration. If you track how a wine develops with age, you’ll learn not only about the aging process, but about how well an aged wine suits your palate.

—Dr. Vinny


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