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,

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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