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,

As someone who purchases reasonably nice wines, I want to make sure I am drinking the wine in its peak condition. Is there a general rule for aging wine, or does it vary greatly from bottle to bottle?

—Rick J., Aliso Viejo, Calif.

Dear Rick,

It varies from bottle to bottle, and it also varies from taster to taster. What are your own experiences with aged wines? Wine Spectator reviewers give drink recommendations. These aren't written-in-stone, lightning-will-strike-you-down rules, they're just advice. If you find you like your wines on the younger (or older) side, adjust accordingly. I find that most wines in the market drink well upon release, and are best within a few years. There are, of course, exceptions, especially among the top wines.

—Dr. Vinny


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