Log In / Join Now

Ask Dr. Vinny



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

Dear Dr. Vinny,

Would you rather … drink from a properly shaped plastic "wineglass" or an inferior-shaped cup made of glass?

—Guy, Erie, Colo.

Dear Guy,

Good question. I have plenty of happy memories of enjoying wine from "imperfect” vessels—red plastic cups around the campfire; juice glasses when the wineglasses were dirty; even sneaking some wine into a baseball game in a plastic water bottle. The experience can transcend the way the wine is served.

But I’m a big believer that proper stemware allows a wine to show its best. I’ve sat through a few seminars with wineglass guru Georg Riedel and I'm convinced that proper stemware makes a difference.

If I had to pick between a well-made, properly shaped plastic "wineglass" and an actual small wineglass, I would make my decision based on the thickness of the rim. One of the things I learned in those seminars is that thicker lips on glassware can distract from the enjoyment of the wine. Something about a thick rim makes it feel like a teething ring in my mouth.

—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 365,000+ ratings.