Decanter-like Bottle

Dear Sir, 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!

Answer From Expert Roger Bohmrich MW

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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