Log In / Join Now

Ask Dr. Vinny

Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...

Dear Dr. Vinny,

I live in a warm climate without a basement. I am storing some 1999 and 2004 Brunellos in a wine refrigerator. Will the lack of humidity in the refrigerator cause the wines to age more quickly, or harm the aging process?

—John M., Georgia

Dear John,

In the long term, dry conditions in your cellar can result in dry, crumbly corks that might result in prematurely aged wines. But humidity is an easy condition to maintain. Want to add more humidity? Place a pan of water or a moist sponge in the bottom of your wine refrigerator. If your model doesn’t already track humidity, for less than $40 you can get your own hygrometer. Ideal humidity is about 70 percent, but anywhere between 50 and 80 percent should be safe.

—Dr. Vinny

Wine Basics

We break down the basics—how to taste, serve, store and more. Plus:
» Maps of major wine regions
» Grape variety characteristics

How-to Videos

Learn to taste wine like a pro, pull a cork with flair, get great wine service in a restaurant and more

Wine Spectator School: All courses are FREE for WineSpectator.com Members

Learn from the experts and get the most out of each sip. Take one of our online courses or take them all—from the ABCs of Tasting to in-depth seminars on Food Pairing, California Cabernet, Bordeaux, Tuscany, Sensory Evaluation and more.

Browse our course catalog
Check out the professional wine sales and service courses
Learn Wine Forum: Got questions? Get answers

WineRatings+ app: Download now for 340,000+ ratings.