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25 January 2006

They're Both Blue

BluenunThat's it! Both Saint M and Blue Nun are, well, blue.  But wait; I'm confused.  Once upon a time a wine guru explained to me that wine from Germany's Rhein river regions (Rheingau, Rheinhessen, Pfalz) were bottled in brown glass.  So I did a little research.  I possess a painfully boring book about German wine.  I couldn't find anything in the book about traditional bottle-glass colors.  I moved online and, perhaps not so unexpectedly, came up with some contradicting results:

"Confused? Well, the most famous German wines are instantly recognizable by special bottles:
Mosel = green; Rheingau, Rheinhessen and Pfalz = brown; And from the Nahe region = of course, blue."

"Clad in the traditional dark-blue Mosel bottle, this is perkier than the standard mosels from this spot, due to the superior riesling grapes in the blend"

"The color of a bottle of German wine telegraphs whether the wine is from the Rhine River valley (brown) or the Mosel (green)"

Let me get this straight.  Mosel bottles are traditionally green or blue?  However, Saint M, from the Pfalz is blue.  And aren't Pfalz Rieslings supposedly clad in brown glass?  Perhaps Saint M's blue glass is designed to stand out from the crowd (it worked, I purchased a bottle).

Not that this is terribly important; however, I would like to know, if there are indeed traditional glass colors for Germany's wine regions.  If you are a German wine lover with this bit of trivia lying in your brain, please enlighten me.

And, while we're on the topic of German wine bottles, can you tell me what's up with the Bochsbeutel?

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Comments

bill

so where is the blue nun review?
bill

beau

Sampled it a few months ago after reading some PR blah-blah that Blue Nun is now more focused on quality, etc., etc.

It wasn't horrible, but it really wasn't anything to write about: generic, slightly sweet Riesling that doesn't do Germany justice (in my humble opinion of course).

Kirk

The Blue/Green Tradition

The unofficial tradition in Germany was green bottles in the Mosel and brown in the Rhine regions. But since the quality revolution that began in the mid-1980s, that tradition is pretty much meaningless. With a few stodgy exceptions, the old-fashioned brown bottle is out and new, blue-green bottles are in. Most young producers want a modern look to help erase the painful memories of poor quality in the past, and to be more indicative of the brighter, fresher taste of their modern wines. So forget about the brown/green tradition - it's so over.

Cobalt blue bottles are usually a sign of a truly awful wine - as evidenced by Blue Nun and her kin. The Saint M bottle, however, is not this color - it's a darker blue-green - and the wine is of much higher quality.

Bocksbeutel is a much more interesting story. The word, in literal translation, mean's "buck's bag." That's buck as in male goat. This is the word for goat scrotum, which the bottle resembles in shape. Those whacky Germans! Really makes you want to take a big drink of the stuff, doesn't it? Franken wines can be extraordinary, though, so don't let the buck scare you off. Try Wirsching's Riesling from the Julius-Echterberg vineyard.

beau

Kirk - Thanks for the explanation. I definitely plan to keep my eyes open for a Franken wine or two. I've always been intrigued.

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Kirk - Thanks for the explanation. I definitely plan to keep my eyes open for a Franken wine or two. I've always been intrigued.

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