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,
My friends and I have an ongoing discussion regarding the correct way to have a vertical tasting. Is it older wine to younger or youngster to old geezer?
—David W., Woodlands, Tex.
Hey, who are you calling an old geezer? Anyway, I like to set up my vertical tastings oldest to youngest. My reasoning is that the older wines will often be more delicate, with lighter tannins, and it's easier to try a tannic wine after a delicate wine than the other way around. Tannins can cling to your mouth, and if you're still chewing on tannins, it may be difficult to appreciate an elegant wine. But many people do it the other way around, in order to follow the "normal" progress of the wines' evolution. Try it both ways to see which one you prefer.
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