Is it true that Barolo has to be a certain age before it can be sold?

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Dear Dr. Vinny,

Does Barolo have to be a certain age before it can be called Barolo?

—Frank S., United Kingdom

Dear Frank,

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.

—Dr. Vinny

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