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Wine bottle indentation a nod to tradition

Post Time:Jul 23,2008Classify:Glass QuotationView:469

Why is the bottom of a wine bottle indented? How else is the shape significant to the bottle's contents?

Wine buffs call this indentation the punt, a term left over from the days when bottles were blown by hand.

The process involved a long metal rod, called a punty, which artisans used to fashion molten glass into bottles (when the punty was removed from the blown bottles, it left behind an indentation).

Bottle-making technology has evolved beyond punties, but many vintners continue to indent their bottles for tradition's sake.

With sparkling wine, however, the punt remains a necessity, as its sloped shape helps diffuse the pressure of the carbon dioxide that builds within the bottle.

The shape of a bottle can tell you a lot about a particular wine, including where the grapes used to make that specific variety were originally cultivated.

Wines first produced in the Burgundy region of France, including Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, almost always come in bottles with sloping shoulders and long necks.

Bottles containing wine that originated in Bordeaux, such as Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc, have square shoulders that are designed to trap the heavy sediments that tend to distinguish these varieties.

Whatever the shape of the bottle, storage is the same for just about all wines. Maintain temperatures of 55 to 58 degrees Fahrenheit, keep the wine away from sunlight and store bottles horizontally so that their corks stay moist and oxygen isn't able to seep into the bottles.

Source: Martha Stewart Living MagazineAuthor: admin