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. You can also follow me on Twitter: @AskDrVinny.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
Why are some wines, e.g. Cabernets, given the same high ratings, but one, usually the expensive one, is rated as "Collectible," while the other, usually a much lower priced wine, is rated "Highly Recommended"? Is the expensive one made differently to last longer?
—Tony A., Park Ridge, Ill.
Not every wine with a hefty price tag has the stuffing for aging. I checked with Wine Spectator senior editor Bruce Sanderson (who is also the tasting director) to get his take on what a "Collectible" designation in our Buying Guide really means. Says Bruce, "We don't automatically choose more expensive wines as collectibles, but price often reflects scarcity. In our estimation, a collectible wine either has more aging potential or potential to increase in value over time."
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