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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.

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Dear Dr. Vinny,

I work in wine retail, and we are constantly asked about which Marsala to use in cooking, sweet or dry. The customers' recipes—usually chicken Marsala—never seem to be specific. My web search about this has proven inconclusive. Can you help? Thanks!

—Joe, Toledo, Ohio

Dear Joe,

I checked with Wine Spectator's food-and-wine expert, editor at large Harvey Steiman, for this one. Harvey says, "Since most recipes only call for a splash of Marsala to deglaze a pan after sautéeing the chicken or veal, either sweet or dry will work. As with any wine used for cooking, it should be something you would be willing to drink." Amen to that.

—Dr. Vinny

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