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Dear Dr. Vinny,

What does the "er" (as in "2005er") mean that is sometimes listed after the vintage date of German wines?

—Mark, Macomb, Mich.

Dear Mark,

I checked with tasting coordinator Alison Napjus in our New York office (who stares at German wine bottles a lot at work) and asked her what's up with the "er." This is what she said:

"'Er' in German means 'from.' Hence you could have 'Wehlener Sonnenuhr,' a wine 'from' the town of Wehlen, specifically the Sonnenuhr vineyard, and you have '2005er,' a wine from the 2005 vintage."

As complicated as German wine labels can be to understand, the "er" suffix is a useful clue!

—Dr. Vinny

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