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,

I have a few bottles in my collection that are unfiltered. Am I supposed to filter the wine the same way I would an older wine to remove sediment, or are they meant to be enjoyed "as is," so to speak? Thanks for the help.

—Derek, New Hampshire

Dear Derek,

Most winemakers filter wine to remove tiny particles that create a hazy appearance. Removing these particles also provides stability. But some winemakers believe this process strips aromas and flavors. The wine might not be as clear, but unfiltered wines can be as good (and sometimes better) than the filtered ones.

You don't have to filter the wines when you drink them. If you notice sediment, don't worry about it causing any harm. But sediment can be unpleasant to drink, so I recommend pouring carefully and slowly, leaving the last ounce or so of wine in the bottle, along with the sediment. Even if you wanted to filter the wine, it would be difficult to because the sediment would pass through most household filters.

—Dr. Vinny


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