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,

I have a very dear friend who lived in Paris for 10 years and affirms, categorically, that if you serve white or red wine at the same temperature and taste them blindfolded that you can not distinguish which is the red and which is the white. Is there any truth in what he is saying?

—Gerardo Duclaud, Mexico City

Dear Gerardo,

People who are indifferent to wine like to scoff at those who are passionate about it. A few years ago, a couple of journalists claimed that even professional wine tasters couldn't tell the difference between red and white wine during a double-blind tasting. Shortly after those stories surfaced, Wine Spectator executive editor Thomas Matthews did an experiment where he tested a group of WS staff members (including some from outside the tasting department) and found the claim to be simply untrue. Even the inexperienced wine tasters could tell the difference between red and white wine blindfolded.

—Dr. Vinny

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