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 red wines won’t give me a red tongue?

—Ria F., Cape Town, South Africa

Dear Ria,

I don’t know about you, but my tongue is already red! I’m teasing, of course. Some of the more concentrated red wines, like Syrah or Petite Sirah, naturally have more pigment in them, and some winemaking practices can coax more concentration out of a wine, and along with that, more pigmentation. Younger wines also tend to be darker than older wines.

To avoid the purple-tongue effect, you can pick lighter reds to drink that have less pigmentation, like Gamay or Pinot Noir. Keep in mind that the pigmentation interacts with your saliva and the protein on your tongue. Eating something fatty or oily and staying well hydrated will help keep the pigmentation from sticking.

—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