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,

Insect fogger in the wine cellar: safe or stupid?

—Peter K., Birmingham, Mich.

Dear Peter,

Well, I’m no expert on insect foggers, so I went to fogger producers and asked them to weigh in. Without knowing what kind of bugs you’re fighting or which product you’re thinking about using, I ended up getting some general advice.

First off, read the labels. If a product is unsafe to use inside your home, it will say so. If it’s OK to use inside your home, then it should be fine to use in your wine cellar, too. The friendly person I spoke to at SC Johnson (maker of the Raid line of anti-bug products) suggested that most foggers shouldn’t be anywhere near the processing, making or bottling of wine, which sounds like good advice to me.

Of course, you could always wipe down your bottles afterwards, if you decide to go that route, for some extra sense of security. I’m not sure which bugs you’re battling, but to steal an idea from one of my clever coworkers—bring out the praying mantis!

—Dr. Vinny


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