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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.
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.
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