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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. You can also follow me on Twitter: @AskDrVinny.




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Dear Dr. Vinny,

Could you tell me if Riesling in a blue bottle means that it is cheap, sweet Riesling? What do the different colors and shapes mean in German Riesling bottles?

—Cecilia, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Dear Cecilia,

Traditionally, German Rieslings were bottled in either green or brown glass. Brown glass meant the wine was from the Rheingau region, green from the Mosel. About 30 years ago, some producers switched to blue bottles to distinguish themselves, the most famous of which was the German Riesling line Blue Nun. I’ve seen other wines—not just Rieslings—bottled in blue glass since.

While I’ve seen a fair amount of value-priced, softly sweet Rieslings in blue bottles, the color of the glass alone doesn’t really tell you everything you need to know about the wine’s profile or price.

—Dr. Vinny

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