We're testing our new mobile-friendly website. Check out the beta version and let us know what you think!
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,
I work in the retail wine industry, and I usually bring my own wine when I go out for dinner. I was recently given a gift certificate for a nice restaurant. Is it inappropriate for me to bring my own wine when using a gift certificate?
—Gordon, Palm Desert, Calif.
Most gift certificates are considered cash to a restaurant, so it shouldn't be a problem. Of course, you might feel cheap (and your date might look at you funny), so make sure you follow the standard rules for bringing wine to a restaurant: Call first, offer to buy something off the list, share the juice with the server, and tip like you mean it.
Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...
Learn to taste wine like a pro, pull a cork with flair, get great wine service in a restaurant and more
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.
Passionate about wine? Wine Spectator magazine is looking for an enthusiastic copy editor in the New York office.
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions
New! Ratings Flash