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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,

Does the size of a wine bottle have any effect on the way wine ages? And why don't all wines come in big size bottles?

—Fernando V., Cartagena, Colombia

Dear Fernando,

Bigger bottles tend to age more slowly than smaller bottles, supposedly since the relative amount of oxygen trapped inside isn't as great. One theory is that the 750ml bottle became the standard because that size represents the lung capacity of a glassblower. Most people have gotten used to this size (I find it the perfect amount for two people to share), and since most wines are consumed shortly after being released, the need for the slow-aging, harder to handle, larger-format bottles is uncommon.

—Dr. Vinny

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