Have you ever been to an Old Spaghetti Factory? Of course you have. Their garlic butter is delightful. But more importantly, they have wicker-basket-wrapped Chianti bottles as candle-holders, and those are neat.
I was eating there the other day, and I started to think, “why are Chianti bottles shaped that way, and why are some wine bottles shaped other weird ways?” and I realized something: this is a good excuse for me to avoid work today!
So I buckled down…and then I checked Facebook. Then I posted a witty comment on twitter about last night’s Boston-Orlando game. Then I realized I needed some coffee. I spent about 20-minutes getting coffee because our new coffee pot has a touch screen and WiFi so you can read the day’s top headlines as you fill your cup…then I posted a comment on Facebook how awesome that is. And now? Now I’m watching a Youtube video of Eddie Murphy’s 1985 hit single “My Girl Likes to Party All The Time” but after that I’ll be ready to talk about wine bottles.
Turns out, according to The Wine Doctor (which is basically exactly the same as this blog…but based in truth, science and expertise) the bottle shapes are not at all important to the taste or development of your wine. The different bottle shapes you’ll find are more for recognition purposes. The “burgundy” bottle is shaped how it is to offer an easy way to recognize that you’re looking at a burgundy.
These bottle shapes have become regional standards, so they’re not an exact science. You might find various different French wines sharing the same bottle shape, but if you look closely, chances are they’ll be grapes from the same region.
The exception to these standards mainly lies in America. In the New World wines, various European standards have been adopted across the board for recognition purposes that add to people’s comfort level with trying something new. Also, when you see a really funky-shaped bottle, it’s probably American. We don’t have to follow the rules. You’re not the boss of us Europe!
The Wine Doctor has a deeper analysis of different bottle types and the regions they come from here.
Something else you might have noticed: The punt. This is the concave bottom of a wine bottle. It’s conjectured that punts were originally blown into early wine bottles to allow for more stability, especially in hand-blown bottles. Today, it’s an unnecessary inclusion, but it still feels kind of neat. For a deeper look, check out Cellar Notes take on this.
Again, game night is tomorrow and Thursday is the tasting. Come down and get a beating in Scatergories, and then taste some wine on Thursday. I’m not sure who is doing the tasting yet, but I’ll let you know as soon as I find out.
Let me know if you have any questions that you want me to waste time at work researching! Kevin@de-vinewines.com