Log In / Join Now

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.




Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...

Dear Dr. Vinny,

I have heard that aging wines does not necessarily make them better, just different. That only experts would appreciate the aged bottle and the average person would not know the difference or maybe not even like the wine at all. What are your thoughts on this matter of aging?

—VeeVee, Simi Valley, Calif.

Dear VeeVee,

I agree that aged wines are not automatically better, but they can transform into something different. The best aged wines are transcendent; the worst are oxidized, tired, and uninspiring.

Aged wines are not for everyone. If you're not familiar with the nuances that older wines take on, you might be surprised and even disappointed in how they taste. My fear is that new wine lovers will age their wines without realistic expectations of what happens. If you like your wines with a lot of rich, ripe fruit flavors, bright acidity and healthy tannins, older wines might not be for you.

Don't think of a cellar as a wine hospital. If you don't like a wine in its youth, it's not going to magically become better in its old age. Also, a bottle that hasn't been aged in ideal cellar conditions (constant, 55 degree-ish temps away from light, heat, and temperature variation) might not be in the best shape.

—Dr. Vinny

Wine Basics

We break down the basics—how to taste, serve, store and more. Plus:
» Maps of major wine regions
» Grape variety characteristics

How-to Videos

Learn to taste wine like a pro, pull a cork with flair, get great wine service in a restaurant and more

Wine Spectator School: All courses are FREE for WineSpectator.com Members

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.

Browse our course catalog
Check out the professional wine sales and service courses
Learn Wine Forum: Got questions? Get answers


WineRatings+ app: Download now for 300,000+ ratings.