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,

Why are the wines from the Bordeaux region typically blended?

—Darlene, Silverhill, Ala.

Dear Darlene,

Will you accept the answer that it’s just simply the way it’s always been done? As far back as we can tell, the region has always specialized in wines made from a blend of grapes. These days the reds are made from a mix of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petite Verdot grapes, though it’s thought that Syrah from the Rhône was also used in the early days, and Malbec used to be a player. Bordeaux-style whites are blended from Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon and Muscadelle.

Blending grapes together gives a winemaker an opportunity to create a complex, balanced end product, and with some flexibility in creating it. But there are other expressions of wine, including single-varietal bottlings and single-vineyard expressions. No one way is superior, but in the case of Bordeaux, tradition rules.

—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.