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,

When a wine is listed as "drink now," what is the time frame for consumption?

—Bob S., Ardsley, N.Y.

Dear Bob,

A window of "drink now" means that the taster doesn't believe this wine will improve with any additional bottle age. Many (actually, most) wines are ready to drink upon release, and many wine drinkers prefer to enjoy these wines when they're still young and have their youthful flavors and structure. However, "drink now" doesn't mean "drink immediately or the wine will turn to vinegar." Even the most approachable wines will usually deliver pleasure for several years past the vintage date.

As always, we caution you to use these drink recommendations as just that—recommendations. If you know you prefer your wines with a little more bottle age on them, or if your experience with the producer or vineyard in question differs from ours, follow your own palate, always.

—Dr. Vinny


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