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.


Dear Dr. Vinny,

I am typing up a wine list for a new restaurant. Should I type it as follows: Pinot Noir, Macmurry, Russian River 2011 or 2011 Pinot Noir, Macmurry, Russian River?

—Jeffrey B., Plymouth, Mass.

Dear Jeffrey,

it’s up to you to decide how to render wines on your list, but you should make sure it’s consistent, and every wine should be listed with its correct producer, appellation and vintage. And please, no spelling errors, which drive me crazy ... and this means you’ve put me in the awkward position of publicly scolding you on your spelling of “MacMurray.”

At Wine Spectator, we list wines first by winery, then typically by grape variety, appellation and vintage, so we would call this wine MacMurray Ranch Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2011. I think that reads just fine, though you could also have a section of your list headed “Pinot Noirs” and then just put MacMurray Ranch Russian River Valley 2011.

—Dr. Vinny


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