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.


Dear Dr. Vinny,

When decanting wine, other than stopping before the sediment runs in, are there other rules of thumb? Specifically, should the wine run slowly down the side of the decanter to maximize air exposure, or is it better to let it just splash to the bottom?

—Fred C., Vancouver

Dear Fred,

If you're decanting an aged wine in order to remove sediment from it, you should handle the wine very gently, and pour slowly. Depending on the shape of the decanter, if that means the wine will run slowly down the side, that's fine. If you're decanting a young wine in order to aerate it, go ahead and splash it about.

—Dr. Vinny


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