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Dear Dr. Vinny,

I often see high-priced older vintages of wine in the regular racks at some wine stores. Is it wise to buy such wines, since they obviously have been at room temperature for quite a while? Should I only buy high-end wines that are kept in cool storage?

—Richard H., Southbury, Conn.

Dear Richard,

I think so! A good retailer will keep wines the way you would, away from light, heat, vibration and temperature variation. You should be picky about whom you buy from, especially when you're spending high-end dollars for high-end wines. Avoid retailers who put their gems in a sunny window or near a heater. My favorite wine shops feel like you're stepping into a cellar, with dim lights and a chill in the air.

—Dr. Vinny

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