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 I read Wine Spectator's write-ups, you always give a time frame as when to start to drink the wine and when it is good until. How do you come to this conclusion, and how accurate is it?

—Gene W., Derry, N.H.

Dear Gene,

My attorney is uncomfortable with your use of the term "accurate." Drink recommendations are, uh, recommendations. This means that if your own experience tells you that you love or hate older or younger wines, you should act accordingly. Tasters make these recommendations in good faith, based on years of experience of tasting wines. My understanding is that older wines are an acquired taste, and I don't recommend aging a wine unless you like aged wines. One person's "accurate" drink window is another person's "over the hill" and a third person's "infanticide."

—Dr. Vinny


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