Log In / Join Now

Ask Dr. Vinny

Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...

Dear Dr. Vinny,

What can you tell me about wine preservation systems? I recently saw an individual nitrogen system (small cylinder and a tap) that looks very interesting. Do these systems really work? Does the nitrogen have any harmful effect on the wine?

—Mike Mahoney, San Francisco

Dear Mike,

The nitrogen systems work OK, but it sometimes feels funny using something that reminds me of a fire extinguisher on my wine. I've also tried those vacuum seal cork things, with mixed results.

After many years of experimenting, I've decided to put my "leftover" wine in one of two places: sangria or smaller bottles. The sangria recipe is available upon request, and transferring extra wine to a smaller bottle works beautifully. After all, exposure to air is what you're trying to avoid, right? Keep some clean half-bottles on hand (water bottles with twist-off caps also work fine) and pour your extra wine in there; it will stay fresh for a couple of days.

—Dr. Vinny

Wine Basics

We break down the basics—how to taste, serve, store and more. Plus:
» Maps of major wine regions
» Grape variety characteristics

How-to Videos

Learn to taste wine like a pro, pull a cork with flair, get great wine service in a restaurant and more

Wine Spectator School: All courses are FREE for WineSpectator.com Members

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.

Browse our course catalog
Check out the professional wine sales and service courses
Learn Wine Forum: Got questions? Get answers

WineRatings+ app: Download now for 340,000+ ratings.