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,

How did the Italian grape variety Est!Est!!Est!!! get such an unusual name?

—Craig, Los Angeles

Dear Craig,

The myth behind that name is that in the 12th century, a bishop was on a pilgrimage to Rome. He sent his runner ahead of him to write the word "est" (Latin for "it is") on the door of any inn in which the wine was good. In Montefiascone, just north of Rome, the wine was so good that the runner wrote "Est Est Est" on the door of the inn (the exclamation points were added much later for effect). When the bishop arrived, he forgot his pilgrimage and stayed there enjoying the fine wine until his death.

—Dr. Vinny

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