What's in the bin?
Many Australian wines, like Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet-Shiraz, Wyndham Estates Bin 555 Shiraz and Lindemans Bin 65 Chardonnay, come labeled with this unusual numbering system, prompting wine lovers to wonder whether there's some kind of hidden system to it all. Can you determine the style or nature of the wine in the bottle by learning the system?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. As it turns out, the Australian "bin" system reflects nothing more than the traditional way that bottled wine was stored in wineries before being sold. The winery's top Cabernet went into one bin; its affordable Cab into another; the Shiraz over there, and the Chardonnay down there. Each bin was assigned a number, but it was strictly an arbitrary system for keeping track of the wine, different with each winery and no two alike.
So if you love Penfolds Bin 389, you'll know to watch for each year's release. If you enjoy Wyndham's Bin 555 (a tasty and affordable Shiraz), you know what to expect when you buy a bottle. But there's no use trying to interpret the numbers, because there's no code there to crack.
Thursday, May 31, 2001