How is the word “bin” used in terms of wine?

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Dear Dr. Vinny,

How is the word “bin” used in terms of wine?

—Amu T., Gujarat, India

Dear Amu,

A bin is a storage container or location. Some wines—particularly Australian wines—are named after bin numbers. It evolved out of the practice of identifying wines with the shorthand of where they were stored.

These days, bin numbers are about branding. They are not a statement of quality, just a way to distinguish wines from each other. You might prefer one bin number’s style over another bin number’s style. I like them because they can be easy to remember.

—Dr. Vinny

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