Types of Wine Bottles

Monday, July 23rd, 2007 at 12:00 am

wine bottle shapeMost wines of today may be enjoyed from the bottle. But during ancient times, this was not the case. Some ancient wines were then stored in barrels and casks. Smaller containers were then of handy pouches made from animal skin. The problem with these containers then is that they are not able to effectively prevent the wine from interacting with the air. This can make wines easily turn sour and lose some of their best qualities.

With the arrival of wine bottles, wines can be stored longer, especially those that are meant to be consumed in a matter of days after they are opened (as not all wines fare well as they age). Wines placed in glass bottles prevent the content and the air to interact with each other as they are stored. This helps keep the wines stay fresh longer, with their qualities still intact.

Some people might think that wine bottles are made in the same way and it doesn’t matter which wines go with which wine bottles. In fact, the shape, size and color of the wine bottles may indicate which types of wines can be stored in them.

There are different types of wine bottles that are being made for different wines. Wine producers from all over the world have come up with a standard for which wines are stored in wine bottles. Actually this standard may have been brought about by the need for a more efficient transport and delivery of different wines to different customers. And during the course of history, wine bottles have come in different shapes and sizes, down to the ones that most people are accustomed to today.

Wine bottle shape

The shapes of different wine bottles through the years have been influenced by local tradition. That is why in many parts of the world today, one may be able to see wine bottles of unique shapes. This is especially true to local areas in France, Spain and Germany where age old tradition have helped shaped wine bottles being used today.

Here is a list of some known wine types and the kind of wine bottles used for storing them:

  • Burgundy and Rhone- bottles used are usually tall with sloping shoulders and a smaller punt (that hollow indentation found at the base of wine bottles).
  • Port, Sherry and Bordeaux- bottles used are usually of the straight sided and high shouldered bottle varieties with a more pronounced punt at the bottom. Bottles used for ports and sherries usually have a bulbous neck around the neck that acts as a collector of residue that comes with such wines.
  • Rhine, Alsace and Mosel- such varieties make use of wine bottles that are narrow and tall with little and even no punt.
  • Champagne and other sparkling wines- such varieties use thick-walled and wider wine bottles with sloping shoulders and a more pronounced punt.

Wine producers from other parts of the world usually follow the same standard for choosing wine bottles. If wine producers believe that they make wines that are similar to Bordeaux for example, they may choose to use Bordeaux-style wine bottles.

Wine bottle color

The type wine bottle color also has an involvement into which wines go to what bottles. There are actually traditional colors being used for the wine bottles and the different wine types. For Bordeaux wines, the reds are usually bottled in dark green bottles whereas dry whites go into light green bottles.

For Mosel and Alsace wines, most producers make use of dark to medium green bottles with some using wine bottles that are colored amber. Burgundy and Rhone wines usually go into dark green wine bottles with Rhine wines go with amber or with the traditional green wine bottles.

Other producers from different parts of the world usually make use of bottling red wine in green colored glass bottles whereas whites have become popularly known being bottled in clear glass wine bottles.