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Dear Dr. Vinny,

My question is about palate clearing. When the Wine Spectator experts do their blind tastings, do they clear their palates between wines, and if so, with what?

—Valerie, Los Altos, Calif.

Dear Valerie,

A quick survey of our offices shows that water is the most popular way for tasters to stay refreshed and hydrated, though some might chew on a water cracker or plain baguette on occasion. No sorbets—or anything else that has its own distinctive flavor.

—Dr. Vinny

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