Red Wine Bottles: Why So Many Types?




The type of red wine bottles vineyards use for their reds is heavily steeped in tradition. It is based on the type of red wine they are making and their winery’s history. No matter what kind of red you are dealing with, there’s something classical about fine glass red wine bottles. Red wine bottles take a lot more time and skill to create than any other beverage you can think of, and every bottle has a history all its own. Wines are never bottled away from the vineyard in which they were created, so every time you imbibe it you are touching the vineyard from which it was created.

Why do red wine bottles come in so many shapes and sizes? Some are clear, some are opaque, some have slightly sloping shoulders, and some have very wide necks. Almost all red wine bottles have a dimple at the bottom, called the “kick-up” or the “punt.” It is the variety and history of red wine bottles that adds to the overall enjoyment of wine. Vintners from all over the world usually go with the bottle that their vineyard has traditionally used, so for new types of red, they will choose their “premier” bottle and have their new vintage associated with their best bottle.

Color is one characteristic of red wine bottles that serves a very vital purpose, believe it or not. Traditionally, red wines have always been in dark green bottles, whites bottled have been in light green ones, and sweet wines bottled in clear bottles. There is a point to all this; the color of the bottle protects the wine from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, which can damage and degrade the wine.

The shape of the bottle is a feature that ultimately has no major impact on the wine. Typically, red wine bottles have a stoic, high-shouldered body with a quick slope that flows into the neck. Bordeaux, sherry, port bottles have this shape and a high punt. Rh

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