Chiantis can be found in wicker round decanter-like bottles. Do I keep those bottles standing up in my cellar? (Not me standing up.) What wines typically come in that kind of bottle? Thank you!
The straw-covered bottle you describe is called a fiasco. It was once very popular as it stands out from all other wine bottles. As Italy sought a more upscale image in the 1990s and beyond, the fiasco was perceived as a vestige of another time by the wineries themselves. It is fairly rare to find this presentation today, although there are large-format versions - a very tall bottle with a slender neck - that have been kept as souvenirs. Generally, the wine in a fiasco was a basic Chianti. Serious producers, even those using the fiasco for the entry-level wine, tended to use a standard bottle for their best wines. Considering your question about how to store a fiasco, I suppose the best answer is that this sort of wine was not meant to be cellared - it was for immediate consumption with rare exceptions.
About The Expert
Roger has enjoyed a lengthy career in the wine trade as an importer and retailer, and at present he is an educator, speaker and consultant. He set up and managed Millesima USA, a New York merchant affiliated with a leading European company. Previously, he served as senior executive of importers Frederick Wildman & Sons. In recent years, Roger has judged wine competitions in Argentina, Turkey and China. Roger became one of America's first Masters of Wine in 1993.
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