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 recently moved into a new place and my newly purchased wines seem distorted. As a former wine consultant, I have tasted all of these wines in question. Last night I opened a top-notch Rhône and Burgundy, and both bottles just seemed off—this has been the case with several more bottles, all purchased nearly a month ago. The only thing I can think of is there is a nightlight about 2 feet from my wine rack. Could it be the culprit, or is my new place cursed?

—William, Baton Rouge, La.

Dear William,

I really doubt that a nightlight could be causing so much trouble, but maybe it's creating some bad wine feng shui and you should move it anyway. Yep, I just invented the concept of "wine feng shui."

Some aged or otherwise delicate wines may suffer from "bottle shock" right after they've been moved, but that usually settles in just a few days—nearly a month seems way too long for that.

You didn't mention how the wine is being stored now. I don't know much about Baton Rouge, except that the people are really nice, and the weather outside is horrible for wine storage. Do your best to keep your wine safe from heat, temperature fluctuations, vibration, low humidity, thirsty neighbors and direct light. Cursed or not, that's about all anyone can do.

—Dr. Vinny


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