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,

What does it mean when a red wine is described as an “extracted” Cabernet Sauvignon?

—Howard, Tyler, Texas

Dear Howard,

I’m going to bring out my tea bag metaphor again. If wine is your cup of tea (see what I did there?), the grapes are like the tea bag. What kind of grapes are used, how long they steep, and whether or not they’re pressed are all going to affect how extracted a wine is. The term “extracted” is often used as a synonym for “concentrated,” and it can often go hand-in-hand with fuller, richer wines. If a wine is said to be heavily extracted, or overly extracted, the term can start to have a negative connotation, suggesting harshly tannic or even bitter wines.

—Dr. Vinny


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