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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 do you recommend to reduce humidity in my wine cellar?

—Renato, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Dear Renato,

Keep in mind that you want some humidity in your cellar, which will help keep your natural cork closures from drying out. About 70 percent humidity is the sweet spot—too little, and those corks can dry out, prematurely aging your wine; too much, and you might start to see some mold on your wine labels.

You can start by making a small investment in a hygrometer, which will measure your humidity level. To add or remove humidity after that, it’s really pretty simple—humidifiers and dehumidifiers start at about $40 each here in the U.S., depending on how large of an area you need to address. No need to get much fancier than that, like the one time a reader asked about using silica beads.

—Dr. Vinny

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