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Dear Dr. Vinny,

Can a wine be bruised?

—Edwin V., Bourbonnais, Ill.

Dear Edwin,

No, and you can’t hurt a wine’s feelings, either. I’m not sure why, but every now and again the question of “bruising” a wine comes up—folks worried about making a cork “pop” when you pull it, or wondering if there is a reason to fear decanting. The only way to hurt a bottle of wine is for you to not love it enough (or store it properly).

That’s not to say you shouldn’t treat a wine—especially an older wine—gently. Older corks can be fragile and crumbly, and can fade more quickly once open. It’s also a good idea to be careful with a wine with a lot of sediment, not because it will harm a wine, but because stirring up the sediment can make a wine gritty and unpleasant.

—Dr. Vinny

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