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,

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


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