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,

My wine smells like rotten eggs. What can I do?

—Anders, Sweden

Dear Anders,

When a wine has a whiff of rotten eggs, it typically means the wine is “reduced,” resulting from “reductive” winemaking, which limits the wine’s exposure to oxygen. Someone unfamiliar with the smell of rotten eggs—lucky you—might instead perceive this note as the smell of a freshly struck match.

The good news is that reduced notes can often “blow off” with exposure to air—vigorously swirling your wineglass and/or decanting the bottle can help. There’s also a nifty copper penny trick that might work.

—Dr. Vinny


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