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,

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.

Dear David,

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.

—Dr. Vinny

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

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

MEMBER LOGIN

= members only

Keep me logged in      Forgot Password?

Free Email Newsletters

Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions

» View samples
» Or sign up now!
» Manage my newsletter preferences

Classifieds

The marketplace for all your wine needs, including:

Wine Storage | Wine Clubs
Dining & Travel | Wine Auctions
Wine Shops | Wine Accessories