Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don't worry, I'm no wine snob—you can also ask me those "dumb questions" you're too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don't forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
So we all worry and fret about "cooked" wine—but what does it taste like? What is the evidence that a wine has been left in the heat too long?
—Mike, Halesite, N.Y.
If a bottle of wine has been exposed to extremes of heat, the wine might start to expand and leak out of the cork a bit. When you remove the capsule, you might notice a sticky mess. This is evidence your wine may have been exposed to heat, but it doesn't always mean that your wine is toast. A "cooked" wine's flavors will actually taste ... cooked. The fruit flavors might seem stewed, not fresh. There might be baked, burnt or caramel notes. The color may also have changed from deep red to more of a brown or brick tone.