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,

Is it true that a young wine does not need to be decanted before drinking? One friend says that it is recommended by a sommelier to drink wine directly from the bottle. I do not agree with this, but we need the opinion of an authority for this controversy.

—Carlos M., Mexico City

Dear Carlos,

I can't say I advocate drinking directly from a bottle—pour it in a glass first! As far as decanting, the two best reasons to decant a wine are to separate a wine from its sediment or to aerate it. A young wine is unlikely to have much sediment, but may need more air than it would get in a wineglass alone. I don't make a rule about it one way or the other. If, after a taste, a young, robust red seems particularly closed and inexpressive, I might pull out my decanter. Otherwise, I just enjoy it as it evolves in my wineglass.

—Dr. Vinny


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