ask dr. vinny

Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs.


Dear Dr. Vinny,

While I was drinking a bottle of wine recently, my 7-year-old stepdaughter quizzically asked, “How many bottles of wine are there in the world?” So—for the kids—how many bottles of wine are there in the world? (An approximate number is acceptable.)

—R.V., Nijmegen, Netherlands

Dear R.,

Sure, anything for the kids.

It’s easiest to answer the question by converting everything into standard 750ml bottle sizes. In that case, according to the very smart folks at our sister publication Market Watch, 31.4 billion bottles are bought and sold worldwide every year. And according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the equivalent of 36 billion bottles of wine are produced worldwide each year.

That still doesn’t tell us how many bottles are in actual existence—just because a bottle is bought or sold doesn’t mean it’s been drunk, and we don’t know how many bottles are resting on wine shop shelves, let alone in people’s cellars. And though we’re choosing to convert the volume of wine out there into standard-size bottles, the truth is that wine is also sold in boxes, Tetra Paks and even casks, for wines on tap.

So I’ll leave you with that information and let you decide what to tell the kids. An approximate number is acceptable.

—Dr. Vinny


Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...

Wine Basics

We break down the basics—how to taste, serve, store and more. Plus:
» Maps of major wine regions
» Grape variety characteristics

How-to Videos

Learn to taste wine like a pro, pull a cork with flair, get great wine service in a restaurant and more

Wine Spectator School: All courses are FREE for WineSpectator.com Members

Learn from the experts and get the most out of each sip. Take one of our online courses or take them all—from the ABCs of Tasting to in-depth seminars on Food Pairing, California Cabernet, Bordeaux, Tuscany, Sensory Evaluation and more.

Browse our course catalog
Check out the professional wine sales and service courses
Learn Wine Forum: Got questions? Get answers

MEMBER LOGIN

= members only

Keep me logged in      Forgot Password?

Free Email Newsletters

Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions

» View samples
» Or sign up now!
» Manage my newsletter preferences

Classifieds

The marketplace for all your wine needs, including:

Wine Storage | Wine Clubs
Dining & Travel | Wine Auctions
Wine Shops | Wine Accessories