Colors and Shapes of bottles

Wine producers in Portugal, Italy, Spain, France, and Germany follow the tradition of their local areas in choosing the shape of bottle most appropriate for their wine.

Port Wine

  • Port, sherry, and Bordeaux varieties: straight-sided and high-shouldered with a pronounced punt. Port and sherry bottles may have a bulbous neck to collect any residue.
  • Burgundies and Rhône varieties: tall bottles with sloping shoulders and a smaller punt.
  • Rhine (also known as hock or hoch), Mosel, and Alsace varieties: narrow and tall with little or no punt.
  • Champagne and other sparkling wines: thick-walled and wide with a pronounced punt and sloping shoulders.
  • German wines from Franconia: the Bocksbeutel bottle.
  • The Chianti and some other Italian wines: the fiasco, a round-bottomed flask encased in a straw basket.

Burgundy Wine

Alsace Wine

Champagne

Bocksbeutel Wine

Chianti

Many North and South American, South African, and Australasian wine producers select the bottle shape they wish to associate their wines with. For instance, a producer who believes their wine is similar to Bordeaux may choose to bottle his wine in Bordeaux-style bottles.

The home wine maker may use any bottle, as the shape of the bottle does not affect the taste of the finished product. The sole exception is in producing sparkling wine where thicker-walled bottles should be used to handle the excess pressure.

The traditional colours used for wine bottles are:

  • Bordeaux: dark green for reds, light green for dry whites, clear for sweet whites.
  • Burgundy and the Rhone: dark green.
  • Mosel and Alsace: dark to medium green, although some producers have traditionally used amber.
  • Rhine: amber, although some producers have traditionally used green.
  • Champagne: Usually dark to medium green. Rosé champagnes are usually a colorless or green.

Clear bottles have recently become popular with white wine producers in many countries, including Greece, Canada and New Zealand. Most red wine worldwide is still bottled in green glass.

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One Response to “Colors and Shapes of bottles”

  1. I produce fortified wines and am looking for port wine wine bottle makers who produce bottles similar to the bottles in the top photo. If you have any info or a site to go to would you please advise. I am located in Western Australia

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