Where can I find a guide to vintage quality of different wine regions over the years?

Ask Dr Vinny

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,

Is there somewhere I can look to see if certain vintages and years of wine might still be good?

—Lynn, Forest Knolls, Calif.

Dear Lynn,

There sure is! Wine Spectator's vintage charts are a broad, handy overview to help you decide if a specific vintage of a category of wine is ready to drink or safe to keep aging. More specifically than that, each of our specific wine ratings includes a recommended drinking window provided by our tasters.

You can also access Wine Spectator's vintage charts on our handy WineRatings+ app for iPhones and Android devices.

Of course, these are just our recommendations, and we tend to be pretty conservative, given that most wines are made to be tasty upon release, and not every person has a penchant for aged wines. You might prefer your wines with more age, which is perfectly fine.

If you’re going to age your wines, you should make sure you’re giving them a fighting chance by making sure they are well-stored. That means keeping them away from light, heat, temperature fluctuation and vibration. If you can have a temperature-controlled system, I recommend keeping the wines at about 55° F.

The only guaranteed way to check on a wine's drinkability is to pop it open and taste it. There is no crystal ball to predict how a wine will age, or if you’d like the way it tastes. Chalk that up to some of what makes loving wine so exciting.

—Dr. Vinny

Collecting Aging Wine Ask Dr. Vinny

More In Dr. Vinny

At a restaurant, if I want to order a wine that needs time to breathe, what should I do?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny offers advice for ordering wines at a restaurant that …

Nov 13, 2019

Is there any risk to a wine’s quality, or the health of people drinking it, if the winemaker adds too much yeast or nutrients for the fermentation?

Wine Spectator 's expert Dr. Vinny explains why there are limits to how much yeast …

Nov 11, 2019

What causes the blue tinge when I clean red wine out of my wineglass?

Wine Spectator 's expert Dr. Vinny explains why anthocyanins, which give red wine its …

Nov 8, 2019

Why are wines made from winemaking kits ready to drink so much sooner than commercially made wines?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains why commercially made wines can take years to …

Nov 6, 2019

If a wine is aged in 55 percent new French oak, what is the other 45 percent?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains how "new" and "used" oak barrels influence wines …

Nov 4, 2019

Some wine pros say bottles don't need to be stored on their sides. Is that true?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains why wine bottles are stored on their sides, how …

Nov 1, 2019
WineRatings+

WineRatings+

Xvalues

Xvalues

Restaurant Search

Restaurant Search