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,
I occasionally see comments that a wine is "tight." What does that mean, and how can I loosen the wine up?
—Dick P., Mukilteo, Wash.
A wine that is "tightly knit," or "tight," is one that's inexpressive or closed. The term usually refers to a young wine, and it can be applied to a wine's aromas, flavors or structure. Being tight isn't always a bad thing. In fact, it's kind of a backhanded compliment. If you're saying that a wine just needs to open up and develop to be more enjoyable, you're saying you think it's capable of that.
How do you loosen up a wine? Pour it in a glass, for starters. If you give the wine some room to aerate or "breathe," you might find it more expressive. Likewise with decanting. But sometimes a wine needs more time to unwind, and don't we all? Months or years in a cellar's optimum conditions might help your uptight wine learn to relax.
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