When wine was first packaged in glass containers, vintners in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Portugal used whatever bottles were available from regional glassblowers. As such, the bottles reflected the different glass artisans’ design preferences, such as shoulder slope. Wine bottle shape may have also evolved from input from the vintners themselves who may have requested certain style attributes that they believed suited the type of wine it held.
As wine became more popular and glass was used as its primary packaging, historians believe there were different considerations aside from tradition and aesthetics that were involved in creating the various wine bottle types. Factors such as aging, sediment capture and colored glass are all part of the wine bottle’s history.
However, regardless of whether they hold red or white, sparkling or still varieties, all types of wine bottles have similar fundamental attributes. Before we delve into the bottle types, here are the different parts of a wine bottle.
Parts of a Wine Bottle
This is the opening of the bottle.
This is the rim below the mouth or opening. The lip, also called a ring, usually extends a bit wider than the mouth and is part of the bottle’s finish.
The narrowest portion of the bottle below the mouth. The neck helps control the flow of the wine from the bottle.
This is the curved area below the neck of the bottle—where the bottle gradually widens usually to its full width.
This is area where the shoulder ends and continues down the remaining length of the bottle. It is normally the widest part of the bottle. The label is usually affixed to or printed on this portion of the bottle.
This is the base of the bottle.
This is the indentation on the bottom of the bottle, which can vary in depth. Please note that not all bottles have a punt.
1) Bordeaux/Claret Wine Bottles
With its curved, high shoulder, tall profile and straight sides, Bordeaux bottles are most commonly used for red wines, such as Bordeaux, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. White wines, such as Sauvignon Blanc, are also contained in these vessels. The sharp shoulder slope was believed to more easily capture sediment during pour.
View our selection of Bordeaux/Claret Wine Bottles.
2) Burgundy Wine Bottles
Due to its ease of production, the Burgundy bottle became a popular staple with wine makers. With a gently sloping shoulder, and wider body and base, Burgundy bottles are common for various types of both red and white varietals including Burgundy, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
View our selection of Burgundy Wine Bottles.
3) Champagne Bottles
Styled similarly to the Burgundy bottle, the Champagne bottle is distinguished mainly by the thickness of its glass. Designed to contain Champagne, Cava, Prosecco and other sparkling wines, the bottle’s thick glass is made to withstand the pressure produced by the carbonation in the beverage.
View our selection of Champagne Bottles.
4) Hock Wine Bottles
Also called Alsace, Rhine, Mosel or Germanic bottle, Hock bottles were produced to hold white wines that were produced in the Alsace region of France and in Germany, such as Riesling and Gewürztraminer. The taller, sleeker design of these bottles features the steepest shoulder. It is believed that the taller, thinner design allowed ships to carry greater quantities of these bottles. The delicate design is also believed to be due to the likelihood that these bottles would be transported via river versus subjected to rougher sea travel.
View our selection of Hock Wine Bottles.
5) Specialty/Dessert Wine Bottles
Specialty or Dessert bottles offer an elegant, tall and narrow profile and typically provide half the volume of the 750ml standard wine bottle. Bottles such as Belissima, Opera and Fidji bottles are made for dessert and ice wines.
View our selection of Specialty and Dessert Wine Bottles.
6) Wine Jugs
Wine jugs are used for packaging large amounts of wine. They’re also used as a vehicle for aging. Jugs are available both with and without handles and are distinguished by their short, narrow neck, wide body and base.
View our selection of Wine Jugs.
Additional Wine Bottle Syles
There are some additional styles that are available from various bottle manufacturers including:
- The stately Port bottle, made for Port, Madeira, Sherry and other fortified wines
- The curvy Provence bottle often used for Rosé
- Wide-bodied Bocksbeutel and Chianti bottles
- The tapered Jura bottle
Also, be aware that different manufacturers each have their own style nuances that may vary from the basic design of each type of bottle. Today, practically any bottle shape can be created including hearts, skulls and fish bottles.
What are the Different Wine Bottle Sizes?
Wine bottles can range in size from the 187ml split to the 30-liter Melchizedek. The 750ml bottle is the standard size most frequently used by wine makers.
These are some of different sized wine bottles available:
The Point of the Punt
The punt or kick-up is the depression on the bottom of some wine bottles. This term is likely derived from an old glassmaking word, “punto” that refers to the focal point of the bottle. Here are some points about the punt:
- Bottles can be made with or without a punt.
- The depth of the punt can vary. For instance, the punts for champagne bottles are usually deeper because those types of bottles require thicker glass to withstand the pressure.
- Punts can add to the bottle cost because more glass is needed to make the bottle.
- Punts are believed to add stability, making the bottle less likely to fall over.
- Punts consolidate sediment at the bottom of the bottle, which can prevent the sediment from pouring from the bottle into a glass or decanter.
Does Wine Bottle Glass Color Matter?
Another noticeable difference between wine bottles is the color of the glass. In addition to aesthetic distinction to help your product stand out on store shelves and add brand appeal, the glass color can also provide protection for the bottle’s contents.
Colored glass is designed to protect wine—specifically red wines—from oxidation. The colored glass filters UV light to protect the wine as exposure can affect the flavor over time. Different colors available include:
- Antique Green
- Champagne Green
- Cobalt Blue
- Dead Leaf Green
- Emerald Green
- Georgia Green
Many white wines are bottled with clear glass. Whites are less likely to oxidize and are meant to be consumed soon after they’re bottled. Therefore, the UV protection is less necessary. Blush and rosé wines are often bottled in clear glass to highlight the pink color.
Whatever your preference, we offer a wide range of unique wine bottle shapes to complement your specialty red, white or rosé. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, our product sourcing team can help. Just give us a call at 630.690-6600 or shoot us an email to email@example.com. Plus, we have corks, corkers, capsules, carboys, wine kits, fermentation tanks and more to help keep the wine flowing!