Here's Why The Bottom Of Wine Bottles Are Indented

Getting liquid to flow into your glass may be the most important part of popping the cork on a bottle of wine, but the vessel that contains it deserves an honorable mention for the many purposes it can serve. While standard wine bottles hold 750 milliliters, according to Wine Enthusiast, there are many variations in bottle design, just as there are many different types of wine.

For example, the modern Bordeaux shape that usually holds heavier red wines is designed specifically for exporting and aging, according to Punch. During export, the bottle protects the wine from jostling while traveling across oceans. Its protruding shoulder, where the bottle curves out beneath the neck, is meant to catch the sediment that accrues during the aging process.

The truth about wine is that the shape, size, and dimensions of the bottle are important, just as the grapes that make the wine itself are too. One little-known bottle element in particular plays an underrated role in the overall experience of the wine.

How the bottle's punt affects the wine's pour

The punt of a wine bottle refers to the divot in the bottom that arches upward. In the past, this structural element was employed by glassblowers to guarantee the bottle would stand up (via Reader's Digest). Today, the punt serves several different purposes.

First of all, this part of the bottle design helps sommeliers and servers pour the wine with one hand. The dimple helps them hold and strengthen their grip on the bottle. It also stops any shards of glass on the bottom from poking out, and enhances the bottle's structural fortitude, Precept Wine director of supply chain Alicja Podgorska told Reader's Digest.

Manufacturing a wine bottle with a punt comes with a greater production cost than one with a flat bottom. Some believe that a bottle with a punt results in higher-quality wine, and there is some evidence to support that claim. For example, the punt could help catch sediment in older bottles, which makes decanting the wine easier, wine master Chris Cree told the publication. Others believe the placebo effect of the higher price of a bottle with a punt causes people to believe that it's also better wine.