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 cooking a pot roast where the recipe calls for red wine, does the quality, type of wine (Cabernet or Syrah etc.) or vintage matter? Will the meat taste better with Opus One vs. a bottle of Yellow Tail Cab?

—Jesse R., Spring, Texas

Dear Jesse,

When cooking with wine, I follow a couple of guidelines. First off, I tend to cook with either exactly what I'm drinking with the meal (if it's only a splash or two), or with something in a similar vein so that the flavors will complement each other. Secondly, I only cook with wine that I would drink; cooking doesn't magically improve the quality of a wine.

When the alcohol evaporates from wine, all that's left is the flavor, so I usually go for fruity wines (like Syrahs and Zinfandels), and there are plenty of them in the affordable range. And don't grab for a bottle that's been sitting in your fridge or on the counter for a couple of weeks; oxidized wines do little to help the flavor of your dish.

—Dr. Vinny


Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...

Wine Basics

We break down the basics—how to taste, serve, store and more. Plus:
» Maps of major wine regions
» Grape variety characteristics

How-to Videos

Learn to taste wine like a pro, pull a cork with flair, get great wine service in a restaurant and more

Wine Spectator School: All courses are FREE for WineSpectator.com Members

Learn from the experts and get the most out of each sip. Take one of our online courses or take them all—from the ABCs of Tasting to in-depth seminars on Food Pairing, California Cabernet, Bordeaux, Tuscany, Sensory Evaluation and more.

Browse our course catalog
Check out the professional wine sales and service courses
Learn Wine Forum: Got questions? Get answers

MEMBER LOGIN

= members only

Keep me logged in      Forgot Password?

Free Email Newsletters

Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions

» View samples
» Or sign up now!
» Manage my newsletter preferences

Classifieds

The marketplace for all your wine needs, including:

Wine Storage | Wine Clubs
Dining & Travel | Wine Auctions
Wine Shops | Wine Accessories