Why would a bottle of Australian wine have been bottled in London?

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Dear Dr. Vinny,

I have a bottle of wine from Australia but bottled in London. How does that work?

—Frans A., Holland

Dear Frans,

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.

—Dr. Vinny

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