The Shape of Wine Bottles


Dear Wine Master,

Hi there. I have enjoyed your site Vine Could you possibly explain to me why a wine bottle is curved inward at the base? Thank you.

Dear Langley,

Thanks for your question. The shape at the base of the bottle is called a ”punt” in English. An obscure word, unknown even to many wine enthusiasts, its origins are lost in history. But here are a few theories:
1. In the early days of modern bottle making, glass blowers learned that a deep indentation made the bottle stronger and gave it stability.
2. Maybe the device that glass blowers used to hold the bottle while it was being made left this indentation when the job was done.
3. Bottles were made this way intentionally so the sharp crease around the conical shape would form a crevice where the maturing wine’s sediment could collect and solidify.
4. Finally, if you’re a cynic, you may suspect that the indentation serves the same purpose as the cardboard packaging inside a chocolate box: It makes the bottle look like it has more wine in it than it really does!

Take your pick; I don’t think anyone knows the answer with absolute certainty. It’s all good food for thought.


Leave a Reply