Log In / Join Now

Ask Dr. Vinny

Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...

Dear Dr. Vinny,

I know that when decanting a bottle of wine I should use a source of light to see when the sediment starts to approach the neck of bottle, thus knowing when to stop pouring the wine into the decanter. My problem is that I never see the sediment when pouring, yet there is sediment in the bottom of the decanter. I've tried to use a candle (no good), then a flashlight (even worse). What's the correct way to do this? It's driving me crazy!

—George, Mastic Beach, N.Y.

Dear George,

My guess is that you're pouring too quickly. Experiment with decanting either directly over a light source or in front of one. Pour slowly and steadily. Don't stop midway through. When you're getting to the bottom half of the bottle, pour even more slowly. Sediment isn't always chunky, obvious stuff. As soon as you notice the wine's color become cloudy or see what looks like specks of dust in the neck of the bottle, you've hit sediment, so stop pouring then.

—Dr. Vinny

Wine Basics

We break down the basics—how to taste, serve, store and more. Plus:
» Maps of major wine regions
» Grape variety characteristics

How-to Videos

Learn to taste wine like a pro, pull a cork with flair, get great wine service in a restaurant and more

Wine Spectator School: All courses are FREE for WineSpectator.com Members

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.

Browse our course catalog
Check out the professional wine sales and service courses
Learn Wine Forum: Got questions? Get answers

WineRatings+ app: Download now for 340,000+ ratings.