Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don't worry, I'm no wine snob—you can also ask me those "dumb questions" you're too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don't forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
How do wineries pick the glass color for their wine bottles?
—Stan, Auburn, Ala.
There can be different reasons behind the glass color of any wine bottle, but you’ll find that most wineries follow tradition, as they do with wine bottle shapes. For example, German Rieslings are typically bottled in either green or brown glass; green glass indicated the wine was from the Mosel region, brown from the Rheingau.
Overall, most wines are in amber or green glass bottles because those also provide protection against UV rays, which can be harmful to wine. Generally, clear wine bottles are used for white wines and rosés that are meant to be drunk while still young.
For those wineries that aren’t following tradition, the color of glass can be a marketing strategy. Some producers will choose clear glass to show off the clarity of the wine, or the color, particularly when it comes to rosé wines, as color also indicates something about a pink wine’s style, grape variety and/or region. Novelty glass, like frosted or blue, can be a way to draw attention to a wine.