Who needs a sommelier? A "talking" wine label could soon tell consumers in Italy everything they want to know about a particular bottle -- from its production history to the kind of food it should accompany. "The idea is to bring the oenologist to the table so that each wine can explain itself in the first person," said Daniele Barontini, whose Tuscan company Modulgraf is putting the final touches on the product to be launched in November.

"We envision our talking wine label in restaurants, wine stores and at vineyards that offer wine tasting," he told Reuters on Wednesday.

The new "label" would consist of a chip implanted in the bottle that could be listened to with a small device about the size of a cigarette package in the wine shop or the restaurant.

"It could tell you how to enjoy the wine, where it came from, everything you'd hear from a sommelier," Barontini said. "You could even have music."

He said producers of some of Italy's finest wines, like Brunello, had already expressed interest.

Modulgraf, a company specialized in wine labels and products aimed at preventing counterfeit, plans to launch the "talking wine label" -- which still doesn't have an official name -- at Milan's prestigious wine fair in November.

The label was patented by German engineer Florentin Doring, who works with Modulgraf. It could also help prevent counterfeiting, say its creators.


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