Check out the new, mobile-friendly WineSpectator.com!
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,
When enjoying a quality white wine, why is not decanted as with a red? Would it not benefit and open up as well?
—Kirk, Allentown, N.J.
White wines are sometimes decanted, but you're right that it's less common than with reds. Remember that the main functions of decanting are to aerate a wine or to separate it from its sediment. The vast majority of whites are made in a drink-me-now style, so most folks don't age their whites, and even if they do, whites tend to throw less sediment then reds.
If you're curious, experiment! The next time you have an intense young white wine, see if you prefer it decanted, and hold a taste aside that's undecanted to compare. If you drink a lot of aged white Burgundies (and I hope you do), you should definitely try decanting them. Decanting is also a trick I use to warm up a too-cold white so I can enjoy it better.
Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...
Learn to taste wine like a pro, pull a cork with flair, get great wine service in a restaurant and more
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.
Passionate about wine? Wine Spectator magazine is looking for an enthusiastic copy editor in the New York office.
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions
New! Ratings Flash | New! Unfiltered