Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...
Dear Dr. Vinny,
A prominent Napa winemaker said it lost a large portion of its “library” in the recent earthquake. What is a “library” of wine and how is it used?
—Liz B., San Francisco
It’s pretty typical for wineries to hold on to a stock of older vintages in a wine “library.” Sometimes these wines are on display, and sometimes they’re just stored away somewhere safe, but they’re still referred to as “library wines.”
There are a lot of uses for library wines. I know some winemakers who regularly go back and taste their older wines to see how they’re aging or to get a sense of how a vineyard is developing. I’ve seen older vintages poured at winemaker dinners and charity events—many people rarely try aged wines, so it can be a real treat (or a real eye-opener). I’ve seen plenty of wineries offer up older vintages or even verticals of their wines in charity auctions. And occasionally a winery might make an older vintage available for sale to its customers.
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.