If You See an Indent at the Bottom of a Wine Bottle, This Is What It Means
Have you noticed wine bottles come with an indent at the bottom? Sip back and relax as we uncover fact from fiction on what that indent means.
There’s so much to learn and know about wine. Whether or not you’re a wine connoisseur, you’ve got a lot to learn about wine as it continuously evolves from its original form back in 6,000 B.C.. With all evolving products come new ways to improvise and improve the consumer experience, such as how to open a wine bottle without a corkscrew! But you might think there’s not as much to know about the handy bottle your liquid gold is in.
As various factors of the product change such as its taste and geographical region, one thing about most wine is the fact that bottles include an indent at the bottom. Grab your nearest glass and wine down as we uncover myth vs. fact and the meaning of what the indent at the bottom of a wine bottle really does for both you and the wine.
Anatomy of a wine bottle
To many, all bottles appear the same, and indeed they share the same characteristics/anatomy. Wine bottles include a closure that comes in the form of either a cap or a cork, a neck, a shoulder, a body, a heel, and that mysterious conical-shaped indent at the bottom. While it may appear to be an indent/dimple at the bottom of a wine bottle, it’s actually called a punt!
“The bottles all have 750ml,” says Nicole Kearney, Vintner and Founder of Sip & Share Wines. “The three standards are Burgundy, Bordeaux, [and] Riesling. However, they come in various designs and colors used to identify the type of wine contained in the bottle.” While the structure of the bottle itself remains consistent, the punt can change in width, depth, and shape. If you enjoy a glass or two, you’ll find yourself laughing at these wine puns.
Punts can be found on most wine bottles worldwide and have multiple functions. One of these functions is all about the pour! If a sommelier needs to pour a glass of wine, one is able to perform the one-handed act by gripping to the bottom of the bottle. “Historically, punts were used by glassblowers to push up the seam and ensure the bottle could stand upright,” says Alicja Podgorska, Director of Supply Chain for Precept Wine. The bottles are meant to stay standing when opened; however, the storing of wine differs as the cork must remain wet on its side until opened.
If you thought this indent was doing enough work already, it isn’t! “It also prevented any sharp glass at the bottom of the bottle from protruding out. Some believe that the punt helped support the bottle’s structural integrity,” Podgorska says.
If you stumble across a wine bottle that doesn’t include a punt, no need to fear! Depending on the producer, manufacturer, and latest technology, the punt can be included or excluded based off preference. To include a punt would require a higher cost on behalf of the producer, according to Keith Wallace, founder of the Wine School of Philadelphia. Wallace states that this could benefit the makers as quality of glass then changes to accommodate the punt, causing consumers to believe the wine is of higher quality. Ever spill some of your favorite wine? We’ve all been there and we have the 411 on how to get red wine out of clothes.
Fact vs. fiction
Wine drinkers are split on whether or not the presence of a punt has an effect on the wine. “Some believe it improves the bottle’s ability to capture sediment in older wines and make decanting easier, and in the Champagne method where the lees, or sediments left in the bottle after second fermentation, have to be removed once aging is complete,” says Chris Cree, one of only 53 Masters of Wine in the U.S.
Another area for debate involves the manufacturing as the price varies depending on the punt being present. “The indirect impact is that punted bottles are more expensive, so cheap wines are not likely to use them, and by default wines in punted bottles tend to be better—or at least more expensive,” Cree says.
While there’s no proven fact that the punt has an effect on the quality of wine itself, the wine bottle is affected. So no worries if you see one without—try the wines you prefer and then notice if the punt is present at all. No wine left behind! Read these drinking quotes that are so funny they will have you spitting your drink out.
- Nicole Kearney, Vintner and Founder of Sip & Share Wines
- Alicja Podgorska, Director of Supply Chain for Precept Wine
- Keith Wallace, founder of the Wine School of Philadelphia
- Chris Cree, Master of Wine