Years ago, wine producers created bottles that were unique to their growing area. The Bordeaux bottle shape was used to hold the wines that were produced in that region and the same is true of the Burgundy shape. The tall Hotch, or Alsace, shape was used in Germany. As wine spread throughout the world vintners continued the use of these shapes to market similar varietals. While there are many other shapes for unique or special wines, these three shapes in the 750 Ml size cover the vast majority of wines sold today.
This is high shouldered
and used for Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Semillon and other varietals
This is slope shouldered and used for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and other varietals
This tall bottle is used for Riesling, Gewürztraminer and other mostly white varietals
|Another popular shape is the classic Champagne bottle. This bottle has its own shape because of the extra glass required to provide the strength necessary to withstand the pressure from the wine. And also to give room for the large punt in the bottom|
|For years and years Chianti was sold in squat bottles shaped like the one pictured here. This straw covered bottle is called a "Fiasco" and nurtured an image of cheap Italian table wine. The high cost of hand weaving the straw has lead to the near demise of this delightful container. Chianti is no longer considered a vino da tavola because all of Chianti is now in a DOCG region. Today, nearly all producers use the Bordeaux style bottle.|
Here are the most common sizes. Well, I guess bottle sizes Methuselah and larger are not really so common but the time may come, just once in your life, when it will be important for you to know just what is a Balthazar of wine. You never know. Perhaps a large dinner party. Perhaps a question from Alex Trebek or Regis Philbin on "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire." Perhaps you can win a glass of Chateau Petrus during a trivia contest at your local watering hole. Should that event occur, here it is.