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.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
When at a wine tasting, should you rinse your glass with water between tastings? I have heard not to rinse due to the chlorine in the water. What is the proper thing to do?
—Dan, Long Beach, Calif.
When going from one wine to another in a tasting, it's usually not necessary to rinse a glass. If you rinse with water, you might dilute the wine—and yes, if there is chlorine in the tap water, it might affect the wine's smell or taste.
If you're switching from red wine to white, or from sweet to dry, or otherwise want to be doubly sure that the taste of the last wine won't affect the next wine you're going to try (say, if it was flawed or just plain wretched), you can simply "prime" your glass with the next wine: Take a small amount of wine, swish it around to coat the glass, and dump it out. Then start fresh with a new pour.
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