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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.

Dear Dr. Vinny,

Within the last 5 years, I have started to amass many red wines. Do my older wines need to be rotated because of the sediment deposits?

—Michael D., Temecula, Calif.

Dear Michael,

No! Let sleeping bottles of wine lie. I have a hands-off approach to the older wines in my cellar. I don't disturb them, ever (and I even put tags on them so I don't have to move them around to find a bottle). The thing is, I don't enjoy chewing on sediment when I drink an older wine. If you shake up your bottles, you're stirring up the sediment, integrating it into the wine. And while sediment is harmless, it's gunky and doesn't add any pleasure to drinking wine. If you leave a bottle still, all the sediment falls to the same side, which is useful. When serving an older wine, gently set it upright for a few days, letting the sediment slide to the bottom. Then decant slowly, stopping at the first sign of sediment.

—Dr. Vinny

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