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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. You can also follow me on Twitter: @AskDrVinny.




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Dear Dr. Vinny,

In a nice steak house I ordered a bottle of wine that cost $95. It was served in rather small, inexpensive wine glasses. The table next to us was served a bottle in nice Riedel stemware. When leaving, I questioned the manager and was told that only wines over $100 were served in the better stemware. I told him their policy is absurd. What do you think?

—Bill Tennant, Lake Placid

Dear Bill,

It's not just absurd ... it's criminal! Any restaurant worth its salt should provide ample stemware, no matter what you spend on the wine. Wine at all levels is meant to be enjoyed, not sipped from a thimble. It needn't be the most expensive crystal, but at least something large enough for you to swirl and sniff without endangering the tablecloth.

—Dr. Vinny

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