Check out the new, mobile-friendly WineSpectator.com!
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,
When a wine is described as having a "linear" characteristic, what exactly is that?
—Karl, Geneva, Ill.
A "linear" wine is straightforward, precise or direct. Some wines gain momentum as you taste them, others lose momentum, and some have a middle phase that sticks out. But a linear wine finishes as it begins, and there are no real surprises. Depending on the context, this can be either a positive or a negative trait. If you love the flavors and intensity of a wine, and it's linear, that's a good thing. If it's kind of a simple wine that leaves you wanting more, you might wish it were a bit less linear.
Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...
Learn to taste wine like a pro, pull a cork with flair, get great wine service in a restaurant and more
Learn from the experts and get the most out of each sip. Take one of our online courses or take them all—from the ABCs of Tasting to in-depth seminars on Food Pairing, California Cabernet, Bordeaux, Tuscany, Sensory Evaluation and more.
Passionate about wine? Wine Spectator magazine is looking for an enthusiastic copy editor in the New York office.
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions
New! Ratings Flash | New! Unfiltered