All about the bottle
Did you know that the bottle holding your wine says a lot about the wine?
The general rule is that the grape and the bottle shape go hand in hand, however it isn't a hard and fast rule. For instance a merlot from anywhere is typically in a high shouldered Bordeaux bottle, and a riesling is in a skinny flute.
Wine bottles are made by heating silica sand soda ash and limestone. Often recycled bottles are used, these are first crushed and the recreated into bottles.
The color of the bottle is important. the classic "antique green" color helps protect the wine from UV rays, as does the brown. Brown glass actually filters out more UV rays than green but the green is sufficient for red wine. Beer needs more protection, consequently the use of brown bottles.
Brown and blue bottles are typically used for white German wines. The clear bottles used for a rose' benefit showing off the wines color and also indicates that the wine should not be aged but consumed.
The weight of a bottle makes a big difference when it comes to shipping. A heavy bottle can be almost 3.5 pounds, which adds up when it crosses an ocean. The thicker the bottle, the stronger the bottle. So a sparkling wine must be in a thicker bottle to withstand the internal pressure. Often a thicker bottle is used to meet consumer expectations when it is a more expensive bottle of wine.
Did you know that the dimple in the bottom of the bottle is called a punt. There is not a consensus on why wine bottle are still made with a punt. However, a punt requires more glass than a bottle without and is therefore more expensive to produce. A Riesling or Gewurztraminer bottle traditionally do not have a punt.
The quality of a wine bottle is crucial, as imperfections can lead to bottle breakage during bottling as well as during shipping.
So, next time take a look at the bottle, as well as the label. It may tell you a bit more about what is inside.