Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don't worry, I'm no wine snob—you can also ask me those "dumb questions" you're too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don't forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
Does Barolo have to be a certain age before it can be called Barolo?
—Frank S., United Kingdom
Yes, by Italian law Barolo must age a minimum of three years, at least two of them in barrel—it jumps to five years to get “Riserva” status—before the wine is allowed to be sold.
For those who aren’t familiar with Barolo, it’s a red wine from the Piedmont region of Italy made from the Nebbiolo grape. The wines can be quite massive and have a reputation for aging.