What does the shape of the bottle say about the quality of the wine?

To make selection a little easier for buyers, certain traditional bottle shapes and colours are used for the various styles of wine. There are no hard and fast rules, but producers usually follow the traditional styles. Here’s what you will find.

In white wines brown glass is often used for sweeter wines, while green indicates a dry wine.

The slender German style bottles are usually used for sweeter, more fruity wines, while the wider, Burgundy bottles are preferred for dry whites, particularly Chardonnay.

Clear glass can be used for wine intended for early drinking. Coloured glass filters harmful rays and prevents wine being darkened by too much exposure to bright light.

Burgundy-shaped bottles are also traditionally used for earthy reds like Pinot Noir, while the squarer-shouldered claret bottles are used for Cabernet Sauvignon, red blends containing Cabernet, and Sauvignon Blanc.

Port is often bottled in a dark brown bottle with very square shoulders and a longish neck.