Wine Tips & Tricks

How The Glass Bottle is Wrecking Your Wine (before you buy it)

If you love to drink rosé, white, and sparkling wine you need to read this.

Studies show that clear glass bottles don’t protect against light strike but amber bottles do.

Clear wine bottles have been shown to cause a stinky, smelling wine fault that smells like wet wool, old garlic or dirty shower drains. The fault, called dimethyldisulphide (DMDS ) or light-strike, occurs when the wine is exposed to light (both artificial and sunlight) for as little as 60 minutes. This means all those beautiful store displays of clear glass bottles of rosé, sparkling and white wine have a higher potential of being faulty.

The most frequent cases of light strike have been observed in sparkling wines. For this reason, the Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championship (CSWWC ) is encouraging sparkling wine producers to restrict the usage of clear bottles.

Here are some tips on what you can do to increase the likeliness of NOT getting a faulty wine:

  • Avoid bottles stored directly under light or displayed in the window
  • Opt for wines in green-colored (better) or amber-colored (best) bottles
  • Go for sparkling wines wrapped in gold colored plastic (if bottle is clear)
  • Yet another reason to buy wine by the case

Gold and amber-colored plastic wrappers are not just for looks, they’re designed to protect clear bottles from damage.

Hopefully, we’ll be seeing more wine producers wrapping their wines in protective plastic or opting for colored glass bottles.

Tom Stevenson at CSWWC
Check out this great DIY study on green vs. amber bottles on Wired

About Madeline Puckette

I'm a certified sommelier and creator of the NYT Bestseller, Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine. Find me out there in the wine world @WineFolly