Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Surprises along wine's way

This bottle of Didier Dagueneau 2000 Silex had air bubbles visible along the sides.

I thought it might be that there was air inside the wine (uh, oh!), but that wasn't the case. The bubbles were in the glass bottle itself.

Of course there are plenty of times when bottles are a bit odd. Like this magnum of Giuseppe Rinaldi Brunate Riserva 1978, where the bottle curves differently on the two sides of the swan neck. Probably not made by a machine, that one.

Or sometimes an odd look is intentional, like with this old bottle of Lanson.

Or sometimes the label is what is askew, like with this Rosenthal back label.

Like bottles, labels can be partly done by hand as well.

That's pretty common, actually.

Or the label can be all by hand.

Sometimes there isn't much that is said, like with this bottle of Mouton-Rothschild 1925, which was sitting in another first growth's cellar for a long time. Apparently, the first growths used to trade bottles between themselves. Sometimes those bottles went without labels.

Or sometimes the label is all there, but it still doesn't tell you much.

Like maybe the producer name is left off the label, like with this 1969 Morgon that we thought might have been an INAO sample bottle.

Or the listed producer isn't the person who made the wine.

Or the vintage isn't given.

Or it is just the vintage that is given. Like with this Radikon Merlot 1999.

Or maybe the label is hard to read.

Or a little scary.

Or kind of racy.

Or just kooky.

Or cartoonish.

Maybe the winery has won certain awards in the past, and the label refers to those.

Or maybe there was a single vineyard bottling, even if that single vineyard doesn't exist anymore.

Or maybe the label implies that the bottles are from a single vineyard even when they aren't, such as these old bottles of "Canubbi" from Bartolo Mascarello. The wine inside was a blend of different vineyard sources.

Or maybe they don't make that wine anymore.

Or that appellation.

And then there are times when there isn't a bottle or a "bottle label" at all.

In so many ways, wine can surprise you.


Karen said...


Vincent Fritzsche said...

Yes, well done. On bottle shape, sometimes machine made bottles have molds that get wonky, so you'll see slightly oblong shapes. Not enough to get rejected or fail on the bottling line, but like the air bubbles, noticeable and a little wondrous.

Do Bianchi said...

this is such a great post... I love it...

Catherine Luke said...

Most surprising part about Le Pergole Torte back label is that its not the signature Rosenthal label!

Levi opens wine said...


That vintage was from before Neal brought it in, I think.


Thanks for commenting!