Log In / Join Now

Ask Dr. Vinny

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

Dear Dr. Vinny,

According to the scores given by Wine Spectator, how accurate is the potential for bottle aging in the wines rated? If a description of a score says that a wine is good from 2005 through 2007, does that mean that after that time the wine would begin to lower its quality?

—Rafael H., Yorba Linda, Calif.

Dear Rafael,

The drink windows are simply the estimate by a taster of when a wine will be drinking at its best. No one can predict exactly how a wine will develop, and there is no single absolute best time to open any bottle. If a wine's suggested drink window is 2005 through 2007, does it mean that on Jan. 1, 2008, the wine has gone south overnight? No, of course not.

Frankly, the recommended drinking windows are intended more for the novice than for the serious wine collector. If you've been collecting and drinking wine for years, you should rely on your own experience. Remember that most wines taste great when they're young, and not everyone likes old wine; it's a bit of an acquired taste. And as many amazing bottles of perfectly aged wine I've enjoyed, I've had nearly as many that were well past their prime.

—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.