Log In / Join Now

Ask Dr. Vinny

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

Dear Dr. Vinny,

In a recent post, you had mentioned "evolved" is when a wine has lost its baby fat. Can you please clarify what that means?

—Yen Wang, California

Dear Yen,

You caught me! I was doing that thing that wine lovers sometimes do when they are describing a wine—using flowery language. (See "How can I distinguish among the wine terms 'evolved,' 'tertiary' and 'fading'?") To be clear, wine isn’t made from babies or their fat, and I don’t think that babies need to lose weight.

Here, “baby fat” is a metaphor to describe characteristics that a wine will outgrow as it matures. These will vary from wine to wine, but typically I’m referring to juicy qualities and fresh fruit flavors. Depending on the context, a wine’s “baby fat” might also refer to a lush or rich texture, or a showy quality. These notes will fade as a wine ages.

—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.