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Ask Dr. Vinny



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What a year 2016 has been! We've certainly had good reason to reach for a glass of wine now and again, and to ask some great questions about it! I hope I've helped to clear up your confusions, provide a little enlightenment (along with a few laughs!) and made your wine life even more fulfilling.

Below are the 10 most-viewed questions that you asked me in 2016. For more of my advice that keeps readers coming back, check out the 2015 and 2014 lists of most-popular questions—they cover many of wine's fundamentals, plus some tips that'll make you sound like an expert. Also don't miss the fun facts and most-asked questions about Champagne and other sparkling wines—one of the topics that sparks the largest number of queries year over year.

May your next glass of wine be even more enjoyable than the last!

1. What’s the difference between a Merlot and a Chianti?

2. Is there a difference between an expensive wine and a cheap wine that earned the same score?

3. What was "dago red" wine?

4. Is it OK to take a chilled bottle of wine out of the fridge, and then chill it again later?

5. Why do actors always hold their wineglasses by the bowl rather than the stem?

6. What is the difference between Petite Syrah and Syrah?

7. I bought an expensive 1990 Napa Cabernet as a gift. Do you think it's still good?

8. What does the sparkling wine term "brut" mean?

9. Why do so many Rieslings have "Dr." in their names?

10. I have a few bottles of screwcapped white wine in the fridge that have been there for a few years. Are they still good?

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