Bottle variation

Bottle variation

Bottle variation is the degree to which different bottles, nominally of the same wine, taste and smell different.

There are many causes of bottle variation, some relating to the wine, some to its container and some to storage. Before the advent of inexpensive stainless steel tanks, it was not customary to blend all the wine together and bottle it at once, a process called "assemblage". Instead, the winemaker would take his or her siphon from barrel to barrel and fill the bottles from a single barrel at a time. Some traditional and/or idiosyncratic wineries still do this, including Chateau Musar. Also, buyers and sellers of bulk wine typically do not have access to a multi-million litre tank, and so often the wine will vary depending on which tank it came from.

Bottle variation that increases over time typically comes from the packaging. Exposure to heat or light can cause a wine to mature more quickly or even make it taste "cooked". Bottles aged in the chilly cellars of Sweden's alcohol monopoly are famous for tasting younger than the same wine stored at a more typical 13 °C (55 °F). Finally, not all corks seal equally well, and a faulty cork will allow air into the bottle, oxidizing it prematurely. However, a corked wine would be described as a simple fault rather than bottle variation, even though the corked bottle would be clearly different from a non-corked example.

Sometimes, it is not clear what causes the variation. Bottles stored together their entire lives, with no obvious faults, can taste completely different. Thus there is a saying, "There are no great old wines, only great bottles."




Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bottle — This article is about bottles in general. For baby bottles, see Baby bottle. Composite body, painted, and glazed bottle. Dated 16th century. From Iran. New York Metropolitan Museum of Art …   Wikipedia

  • Bottle pool — Bottle pool, also known as bottle billiards and bottle pocket billiards, is a hybrid billiards game combining aspects of both carom billiards and pocket billiards. Played on a standard pool table, the game uses just two Cuegloss|Object… …   Wikipedia

  • Bottle opener — A bottle opener is a device that enables the removal of metal bottle caps from bottles. More generally, it might be thought to include corkscrews used to remove cork or plastic stoppers from wine bottles. Another name for some types of bottle… …   Wikipedia

  • Nansen bottle — Pettersen Nansen Bottle A U.S. Coast Guard sailor holding a Na …   Wikipedia

  • Witch bottle — The witch bottle is a very old spell device. Its purpose is to draw in and trap evil and negative energy directed at its owner. Folk magic contends that the witch bottle protects against evil spirits and magical attack, and counteracts spells… …   Wikipedia

  • Château Musar — is the name of a Lebanese winery in Ghazir, Lebanon, 15 miles north of the capital Beirut.[1][2] Musar grapes grow in the Beqaa Valley, a fertile sunny valley at an altitude of ca. 1,000 metres (3,300 ft),[3] situated 25 miles east of Beirut …   Wikipedia

  • Oxygen transmission rate — (OTR) is the measurement of the amount of oxygen gas that passes through a substance over a given period. It is mostly carried out on non porous materials, where the mode of transport is diffusion, but there are a growing number of applications… …   Wikipedia

  • Doogh — Bottle of carbonated tan sold in Yerevan, Armenia Doogh (Persian: دوغ dūgh) is a yogurt based beverage. Popular in Iran and also found in Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, as well as the Balkans, it is sometimes… …   Wikipedia

  • 99 Bottles of Beer — is a traditional song in the United States and Canada. It is popular to sing on long trips, as it has a very repetitive format which is easy to memorize, and can take a long time to sing. In particular the song is frequently sung by pre teen… …   Wikipedia

  • Mountain Dew — For the songs with Mountain Dew in the title, see The Rare Old Mountain Dew or Good Old Mountain Dew. For the homemade alchoholic drink, see moonshine and for the Juhuro, see Mountain Jew. Mountain Dew …   Wikipedia