ask dr. vinny

Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs. You can also follow me on Twitter: @AskDrVinny.


Dear Dr. Vinny,

Johannisberg Riesling used to be a prevalent wine. But I can never purchase Johannisberg Rieslings anymore, just “Rieslings.” Why?

—Jim C., Elmira, N.Y.

Dear Jim,

Good catch. The U.S. government’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), which oversees wine labeling laws, has phased out the use of the term “Johannisberg Riesling” on U.S. wines, which now must be called either “Riesling” or “White Riesling” instead. The term was phased out as of Jan. 1, 2006, though there might still be a few bottlings around on wine lists or in wine shops.

Johannisberg is the name of a wine region in Germany, and Schloss Johannisberg is one of its most famous producers. So now when you see “Johannisberg” on a bottle, it must refer to the region in Germany, or the German producer, or both.

—Dr. Vinny


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

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

MEMBER LOGIN

= members only

Keep me logged in      Forgot Password?

Free Email Newsletters

Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions

» View samples
» Or sign up now!
» Manage my newsletter preferences

Classifieds

The marketplace for all your wine needs, including:

Wine Storage | Wine Clubs
Dining & Travel | Wine Auctions
Wine Shops | Wine Accessories