Bottle Shape for wines…


Although there are no regulations governing the shape of wine bottles in the United States, there is a great deal of history behind their shape. The standard capacity of a wine bottle, 750 ml, was established by the United States relatively recently in the late 1970s and has become the de facto international standard. Manipulating the size of the dimple in the bottom of the bottle, known as the punt, is useful in adapting various bottle shapes to the 750 ml standard. Each year well over one billion wine bottles are produced worldwide; most shaped, literally, by tradition.

The most common bottle shape is known as the Bordeaux. The bottle is tall, with straight sides and high shoulders that help catch sediments when pouring. By tradition, green glass is used for red wine and clear glass for white. While this bottle represents the classic reds and dry or sweet whites of Bordeaux, it is the favored shape for bottles in almost all wine producing countries.

The Burgundy bottle, with its slope-shoulders is indicative of the full-bodied red wines of Burgundy and Italy. The full-flavored whites of Chablis, Chardonnay and New World Pinot Noir are also found in bottles of this general shape. The Burgundy may have been the first standardized wine bottle shape, because its gentle sloping form was relatively easy for glassblowers to master.

The traditional Cotes de Rhone bottle is similar, but slimmer than the Burgundy, with more angular sloping shoulders. Some New World Shiraz bottles have this shape as well.

Known as a Hoch, Rhine, Mozel and Alsatian bottles are tall, slender and fine in form. The Mozel and Alsatian bottles are made with green glass, the Rhine bottle with brown. This shape is used for wines such as Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Rhine and Mozel.

The familiar sparkling wine bottle is heavy bottomed, thick-lipped and dark green . The only bottle whose form is entirely dictated by function, it is designed to withstand the upwards of 90 psi pressure exerted by sparkling wines.

Fortified wines such as Port, Madeira, and Sherry are usually found in sturdy bottles that sometimes have a bulge in the neck to catch sediments. This bottle style may be either tall or short and is usually opaque.


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