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,

With regard to your last question about sweet wine, Moscato and Riesling are naturally sweet. How do you feel about all these unnatural sweetened wines on the market that include additives and dyes?

—Christian, United States

Dear Christian,

They’re not to my taste, but I can’t be too tough on them, considering what I used to drink (and enjoy!) in college. I find that any wine with so-called “natural flavors” tastes extremely unnatural to me.

I kind of get the marketing—I suspect folks new to wine hear everyone taking about all the different flavor descriptors and assume the flavors are added in. It’s confusing, but as I’ve explained before, when a wine is described—for example—as having “chocolate” notes, it doesn’t mean the wine actually has chocolate in it.

Also, don't forget that even naturally sweet wines get that way because of the way they're made—even Muscat (the grape known in Italy as Moscato) and Riesling can also come in dry styles.

—Dr. Vinny


Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...

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

MEMBER LOGIN

= members only

Keep me logged in      Forgot Password?

Free Email Newsletters

Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions

» View samples
» Or sign up now!
» Manage my newsletter preferences

Classifieds

The marketplace for all your wine needs, including:

Wine Storage | Wine Clubs
Dining & Travel | Wine Auctions
Wine Shops | Wine Accessories