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 explain what that indent means.

There’s so much to learn and know about wine. While there are a plethora of wine types are grape-growing regions, one thing that most wines have in common is an indent at the bottom of the bottle of wine. Grab a glass of vino while we distinguish between myth vs. fact, and what that indent at the bottom of a wine bottle really does for wine.

By the way, these are our picks for the best wine delivery services.

Anatomy of a wine bottle

Many wine bottles share the same general characteristics and anatomy. From top to bottom, most wine bottles are made up of a twist-top or cork, a neck, shoulder, body, heel and a conical-shaped indent at the bottom. While it may appear to be a dimple at the bottom of a wine bottle, it’s actually called a punt. These are the best bottles of wine at Aldi.

“The bottles all have 750ml,” says Nicole Kearney, Vintner and Founder of Sip & Share Wines. “The three standards [shapes] 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.

Punt function

“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. Wine bottles are meant to stay standing while they’re being served throughout a dinner or party. Psst: this is the best way to store wine at home.

“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.

Who decides

If you stumble across a wine bottle that doesn’t include a punt, no need to fear. Depending on the producer, manufacturer or technology used, the punt can be excluded. 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 a higher quality of glass have to be used to form a  punt. If you’ve spilled some red wine (and who hasn’t?) here’s how to get red wine stains out of anything.

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, a US Master of Wine

Another area for debate involves 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 it’s not proven that the punt has an effect on the quality of wine, 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.

Next, read up on the best single-serve wines you can buy.


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Originally Published on Reader's Digest