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,
I have a bottle of wine from Australia but bottled in London. How does that work?
—Frans A., Holland
It’s not that unusual for wine to be shipped to a country in huge, flexible tanks (think 24,000-liter polypropylene bags) to be bottled and sold in another country. As you can imagine, it’s not small boutique wineries doing the shipping—it’s usually large brands with excess wine to sell. This practice gives restaurants and supermarkets a chance to bottle their own brand, and because these flexible tanks are cheaper (and greener) to ship than heavy glass bottles, it usually means the savings are passed on to the consumer.
As you noted, it’s typically required that a bottle indicate if it was bottled in a country different from where the grapes were grown, at least in the fine print.