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,

What can you tell me about the aging potential of South American Malbecs and Cabernets? I've bought multiples of some nice bottles recently, and having (really) enjoyed the first, I'm wondering how long the rest will keep.

—Phil D., Norristown, Pa.

Dear Phil,

There are some really amazing red wines coming out of South America these days. If you look at Wine Spectator's South American tasting notes, you'll find that senior editor James Molesworth recommends a drinking window for each wine. Some of the biggest and best examples certainly have the stuffing that suggests good aging potential.

You didn't mention your experience with older wines, or even if you like them. Remember that everyone's tastes vary, and one person's wine "at its peak" is another person's "over the hill." If you tend to like your New World reds with some aging, I encourage you to experiment with cellaring some of these beauties.

—Dr. Vinny

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