Check out the new, mobile-friendly WineSpectator.com!
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,
I just returned from a long-term stay in Italy. I spoke to several wine merchants who instructed me to open a bottle of wine and let it breathe one half hour for each year the wine has been aged. Thus, for a 10-year-old wine, that means opening the bottle five hours prior to consumption. Is this a reasonable rule of thumb?
—Ted L., Kennesaw, Ga.
That's a new one to me, and I respectfully disagree. In my experience, mature wines fade quickly after opening, so I decant them (or just open them) right before serving. I've seen the delicate nuances of an old beauty fade within minutes. The subtleties of older wines are fragile. Younger wines are more robust. Of course, I'm speaking in general—I'm sure there are exceptions to my advice.
Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...
Learn to taste wine like a pro, pull a cork with flair, get great wine service in a restaurant and more
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.
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions
New! Ratings Flash | New! Unfiltered