Ask Wine Wizard

Are there basic rules when it comes to choosing bottle color and shape for different styles of wines?


Dear Wine Wizard, I bottle my wine in recycled bottles and give much of it away. A friend who is on the receiving end is critical of my choice in color type and size when bottling. I use whatever bottles I have for reds and whites — tall and skinny or short and fat, green, frosted, clear or blue — as long as they seal. Is there an unwritten rule on bottles that I’m missing, or should I remove him from my freebie list? Jeff Hauenstein Findlay, Ohio Wine Wizard replies: You certainly have heard the old axiom about never looking a gift horse in the mouth — unfortunately your friend has not! The same is true for any freely given wine and I’m saddened by the fact that your friend is moved more by the somewhat-outdated rule of wine-bottling than by gratitude for a thoughtful gift. You are right to consider taking someone off your gift list if they cannot be a gracious recipient. As I hint above however, there are some bottle-type conventions that some commercial wineries follow,