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,

So we all worry and fret about "cooked" wine—but what does it taste like? What is the evidence that a wine has been left in the heat too long?

—Mike, Halesite, N.Y.

Dear Mike,

If a bottle of wine has been exposed to extremes of heat, the wine might start to expand and leak out of the cork a bit. When you remove the capsule, you might notice a sticky mess. This is evidence your wine may have been exposed to heat, but it doesn't always mean that your wine is toast. A "cooked" wine's flavors will actually taste ... cooked. The fruit flavors might seem stewed, not fresh. There might be baked, burnt or caramel notes. The color may also have changed from deep red to more of a brown or brick tone.

—Dr. Vinny


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