What's with all the spitting at wine tastings?

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Dear Dr. Vinny,

This is not a tough question. I need to know the name of the container, usually on winery counters, that you pour excess wine (unwanted) into following a tasting.

—Jackie, Rodeo, Calif.

Dear Jackie,

It's called a spit bucket, or dump bucket, but some call it a spittoon. While you're correct that it's used to dump leftover wine, it's also there for you to spit.

A public service announcement: Dr. Vinny endorses spitting wine. I know that spitting—anything—in public might seem rude (not to mention a waste of good wine). However, spitting ensures that your judgment isn't impaired, your wine evaluations remain lucid, and makes operating everything from heavy equipment to a wine glass all the safer. Make sure you leave the wine in your mouth for about 10 seconds before spitting, and you'll be able to appreciate it just fine. You should still probably resist the urge to practice target or long-distance spitting.

—Dr. Vinny

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