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Dear Dr. Vinny,
Please help settle a bet once and for all. My Chardonnay-loving bride insists that Champagne improves with age once it's bottled; I believe otherwise. Can you shed some light on this for us? Your answer will determine who cooks for the next month!
—Brian Adams, Glenview, Ill.
Welcome to the lifelong game of "she says 'po-TAY-toe,' I say 'po-TAH-toe.'" In fact, you're both correct. It depends what kind of flavor profile you prefer.
In general, non-vintage bubblies are meant to be consumed while still youthful, with a fresh, crisp, firm acidity that pairs so well with food. Many vintage sparklers are amazing after aging, but only if you understand that they will deepen in color, lose some of their bubbles, and take on caramel, spicy and toasty notes that can be truly wonderful. Sounds like you'll be eating out a lot this month.
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.