Log In / Join Now

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. You can also follow me on Twitter: @AskDrVinny.




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

Dear Dr. Vinny,

I've recently developed a taste for tawny Ports, and I'm interested in finding out what it is about aging in oak that gives it the distinct flavor.

—Bruce, Boca Raton, Fla.

Dear Bruce,

Oxidation. Tawny Ports are paler and browner and, uh, tawnier than traditional Ports. They have a mellow, nutty, slightly woody, dried-fruit character, derived from contact with air during long maturation in porous wooden casks. The good news is that since tawnies have already been exposed to oxygen, an open bottle of tawny will keep longer than other bottles of Port.

—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 300,000+ ratings.