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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Dr. Vino's Verdict

The Greatest, Cheapest Corkscrew Ever

A fancy corkscrew.

Ever wondered where the experts stand on the best wine practices and controversies? In this series, wine blogger, teacher and author Tyler Colman (a. k. a. Dr. Vino) delivers a final judgement.

Don’t you think buying a fancy corkscrew is a waste of money? For me, the best is also the most simple: the classic waiter’s corkscrew. I’d suggest a double-hinged Pulltap’s, which is very reliable and available for less than $10. It makes more sense to devote your wine budget to wine, rather than gizmos. But if you really want to spend money, you can find a gorgeous version from Laguiole, perhaps with a wood handle carved from a 250-year-old tree from Versailles.


Related: Dr. Vino on Why You Can Toss Your Vintage Chart
Gifts for Wine Lovers
Chillable Reds

Dr. Vino's Verdict

Why You Can Toss Your Vintage Chart

Why You Can Toss Your Vintage Chart

Ever wondered where the experts stand on the best wine practices and controversies? In this series, wine blogger, teacher and author Tyler Colman (a. k. a. Dr. Vino) delivers a final judgement.

Don't you think knowing your favorite producers is better than remembering recent vintages? It used to be essential for wine lovers to memorize the top years in each region, but vintages are less an indicator of quality than they once were because of improvements in vineyard management and winemaking. In the past, off vintages often meant underripe, washed out, virtually undrinkable wines; now, even abysmal weather can be countered by technology and knowledge, and good producers tend to make good wine almost every year. Take 2012 in Champagne: Early hail was followed by rains, which reduced the crop, but still the quality was very good and several growers and blenders say that the quality is high (we will have to wait a few years to find out in the glass). But even though weather isn't the ultimate arbiter of quality anymore, it does still change the wines in any given year. Cool vintages in 2010 and 2011 in California, for instance, resulted in naturally lower-alcohol wines in many cases.

Related: Dr. Vino on the Fastest Way to Chill Wine
How to Find Your Perfect Wine
How to Find Value Wine

Dr. Vino's Verdict

A Free Trick to Save Leftover Wine

Illustration © Alex Nabaum

Ever wondered where the experts stand on the best wine practices and controversies? In this series, wine blogger, teacher and author Tyler Colman (a. k. a. Dr. Vino) delivers a final judgement.

Don’t you think an open bottle should last more than a few days? Unfortunately, while brief exposure to oxygen may help a wine open and flourish (e.g. decanting), prolonged exposure dulls its flavors and aromas, and eventually will turn it down the path toward vinegar. While you could buy special gas or gadgets to keep wine fresher longer, there's an easy and free way to reduce oxygen contact. Pour the leftover wine into a cleaned 375 ml half-bottle. Then simply shove in the used cork (wine side down for enhanced sanitary conditions) and place it in the fridge—even if it's red (cool temperatures help preserve the wine).

Related: How to Cook with Leftover Wine
Best New Wine Shops
How to Find Value Wines

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Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

Run with chefs and wine experts in the Celebrity Chef 5K and dance all night at Gail Simmons’ Last Bite Dessert Party during the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, June 20-22.