Log In / Join Now

Ask Dr. Vinny

Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...

Dear Dr. Vinny,

A couple of friends and I made some wine for the first time. Now a friend told us it doesn't have many legs? What does this mean?

—Ron T., Erie, Pa.

Dear Ron,

Well, it may mean that your friend doesn't have much to say about your wine. The "legs" are the streaks that trickle down the sides of the glass after the wine gets a swirl. They are created by alcohol, so in theory, the more legs, the higher the alcohol content. I've tried to read a wine's legs, and it's about as convoluted as reading tea leaves to me—they all look about the same. One would have to study them for years to make an educated guess about the alcohol content of the wine. My guess is that your buddy felt insecure about giving feedback on your wine and picked a (hopefully) innocuous comment to make. When I don't know what to tell someone about a wine—or I don't like it—I say, "Mmm. Very ... refreshing."

—Dr. Vinny

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

WineRatings+ app: Download now for 340,000+ ratings.