We're testing our new mobile-friendly website. Check out the beta version and let us know what you think!
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,
Do you know what the letters/numbers on the pink DOCG label just above the name of the DOCG represent? For example, printed just above the DOCG Barolo is "AAI 06360247." We were trying to figure it out. A tax number? Tracking/serial number used by Italian government overseeing DOCG status? Thanks for any clues!
—Liesl, Tahoe, Calif.
According to the Brunello Consortium, that is a serial number, unique for each bottle, which proves that the wine inside has met the standard of approval for DOCG (the top level of the official Italian wine classification scheme). This includes the minimum grade of alcohol achieved, yield per hectare and correct vinification and aging process.
If you feel like stalking your bottle of wine, you can get a full readout of the producer, area and even chemical tests of that bottle on the Brunello Consortium's Web site. Currently, it's only found on the Italian version of the site and only traces bottles back to the 1999 vintage, but these wines will become increasingly traceable in the future.
Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...
Learn to taste wine like a pro, pull a cork with flair, get great wine service in a restaurant and more
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.
Passionate about wine? Wine Spectator magazine is looking for an enthusiastic copy editor in the New York office.
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions
New! Ratings Flash