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Dear Dr. Vinny,

Which is better for a wine to age in, new oak barrels or used oak barrels? And why?

—Andrew W., Queens, N.Y.

Dear Andrew,

There is no "better" when it comes to deciding what vessel a wine will age in, it's simply a matter of style. A new barrel will impart more flavors and tannins than a used or neutral barrel, but that's only desirable if that's the direction the winemaker wants to go in. You might prefer more or less butter and salt on your popcorn than I do, but that doesn't make your popcorn better than mine.

—Dr. Vinny

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