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,

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


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