Why is the Bottom of a Wine Bottle Indented?

If you love wine, you know that there are numerous reasons why it stands out from many other alcoholic drinks as a more sophisticated and classy option. But why is the bottom of a wine bottle indented? Does it serve a certain purpose for the wine or is it simply to make the bottle look like it is holding more than it actually is?

These questions are often discussed between wine connoisseurs and there is no definitive answer. There are several suggested theories, though.

Punts

For starters, that little dimple in the bottom of your wine bottle is called a punt. Punts were originally created when bottles were free blown using a pontil and blowpipe. The indent was naturally created by the way the bottles were made and they have been created in that image ever since.

Practical Explanations

Many of the explanations provided throughout the years are fairly believable, if not logical:

  • Punts were used to keep bottles steady, so they could hold more without tipping over as any slight imperfection in a flat bottom bottle would cause the bottle to topple over.
  • Punts are used to reflect light off of the wine and through the bottle, making the wine glimmer and reveal deep reds or pinks.
  • Punts are an indication of the quality of the wine. People say that the deeper the punt, the better quality wine is in the bottle.
  • Punts are used to make bottles easier to stack on top of each other.
  • Punts provide a place for a person to put his thumb while pouring the wine.
  • The punts grab onto pegs that move the bottles along conveyor belts in the production process.
  • Sediment is collected along the ring of punts, making it less likely to fall into a glass while being poured.

Not-So-Practical Explanations

There are theories and myths about punts that may explain why they are a part of wine bottles; or are simply something to laugh at:

  • The punts in wine bottles were used by servants, who were knowledgeable about happenings in town, to signal their masters with a thumb if a visitor was trustworthy or not.
  • Old taverns used to have steel pins installed vertically into their bars, on which they would thrust empty bottles, puncturing the top of the punt and ensuring those bottles wouldn’t be used again.

You may choose to believe what you will about those odd indents, but when a fellow wine enthusiast asks you, “Why is the bottom of a wine bottle indented?,” you will be able to answer with authority.

Why Does Red Wine Get Better with Age?

Answers to the age old question

Anybody who has ever heard a single fact about wine can tell you that generally speaking, it just gets better with age. That is especially true for red wines.

Why is that? Why does red wine get better with age? What is in the makeup of strictly red wine that makes it so deliciously enhanced with age?

It’s All in the Tannins

Tannins are found in the grapes wine is made from that give your mouth that dried out sensation.  They are a natural preservative in wine that, when a wine is young, provides it a bitter and astringent taste.

As wine ages, these tannins dissipate and blossom into what wine connoisseurs call the “bouquet” of wines, or the aroma and essence of the body of the wine.

Tannins have been known to keep a wine delectable for 40 years or more blossoming more and more each year, ultimately leaving the aged red wine with a smooth, rich flavor without the astringency of a young red wine.

Keep it Cool

Why does red wine get better with age?

The secret lies in temperature. Since, the aging process of wine is delicate and easy to spoil, the temperature of the storage facility your wine is kept in needs to be precisely maintained.

When wine is subjected to rises in temperature, it begins to oxidize.  When wine oxidizes, it starts to age prematurely, leaving you with an undrinkable bottle of wine.

Humidity also has its effects on wine.  If wine is kept in an area that is drenched with humidity, you can expect there to be mold or mildew on the label and cork when you go to fetch it.  However, too little humidity can leave the cork dry and crumbly, allowing air to get into the bottle and consequently causing oxidation in your wine.

Keeping your wine in a slightly humid area remaining at 10?-16?C (50?-55?F) (such as a wine cellar or basement) will allow it to mature gracefully, its tannins dispersing slowly to reveal a smooth, wonderfully delicious drink when you want it most.

I think it is also good to remember that red wine is bottled in dark colored glass for a reason.  It protects against outside light that causes oxidation in the wine, keeping it aging better.

There are many little hints like this that point to the same conclusion: red wine was meant to age and age well.  So let your decade-old bottles of red wine rest easy a little longer in the comforts of a cool, slightly humid abode.

The time waiting will be worth it when you pop them open in a few years only to find that they are incredibly rich, smooth, and exactly what you had imagined, leaving you wondering no more, “Why do red wines get better with age?”

Which Wine is Drier, Pinot Grigio, or Chardonnay?

What is a dry wine?

Which Wine is Drier, Pinot Grigio, or Chardonnay?

Good question, but first, we need to discuss what a dry wine is. A dry wine is simply a wine that is not as sweet as a sweet wine.

Dry wines often have more complex flavors and less obvious acidity, as well as a slightly higher alcohol content than their sweeter counterparts.

Sweet white wine is often served on its own as a cocktail or aperitif, whereas dry white wine is the perfect compliment to meals featuring poultry, seafood and fish, as well as the perfect ingredient for sauces, gravies and other cooking uses.

Pinot Grigio

So, which wine is drier, Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay?

I’m getting to that. But first, we need to discuss what Pinot Grigio actually is.

Pinot Grigio, also known as Pinot Gris, is a simple, light and crisp white wine that often comes from Italy, however there are good versions from the Alsace region of France as well as from the state of Oregon. Pinot Grigio is not a complex wine, and it is usually paired with simple foods so that one does not overwhelm the other.

Chardonnay

Chardonnay is famous as being an overwhelmingly oaky wine, but this is not always the case.

While Chardonnays from the Americas are generally very oaky and have strong vanilla notes, the European style of making Chardonnay uses a much lighter hand with the oak, instead allowing the natural citrus and apple flavors to shine through.

Much of the world’s best Chardonnay comes out of France, where the wine was originally made, although the two styles of making Chardonnay wines are so different that it is not uncommon for someone to prefer the American style and consider it to be better than some of the French wines.

So… which wine is drier, Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay?

While there will always be overlap—some Pinot Grigios may be exceptionally dry, while some Chardonnays may lean towards the sweet side of the dry spectrum—in general, Chardonnay is drier than Pinot Grigio.

Which wine is drier, Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay?

Good question, but first, we need to discuss what a dry wine is. A dry wine is simply a wine that is not as sweet as a sweet wine.

Dry wines often have more complex flavors and less obvious acidity, as well as a slightly higher alcohol content than their sweeter counterparts.

Sweet white wine is often served on its own as a cocktail or aperitif, whereas dry white wine is the perfect compliment to meals featuring poultry, seafood and fish, as well as the perfect ingredient for sauces, gravies and other cooking uses.

Pinot Grigio

So, which wine is drier, Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay?

I’m getting to that. But first, we need to discuss what Pinot Grigio actually is.

Pinot Grigio, also known as Pinot Gris, is a simple, light and crisp white wine that often comes from Italy, however there are good versions from the Alsace region of France as well as from the state of Oregon. Pinot Grigio is not a complex wine, and it is usually paired with simple foods so that one does not overwhelm the other.

Chardonnay

Chardonnay is famous as being an overwhelmingly oaky wine, but this is not always the case.

While Chardonnays from the Americas are generally very oaky and have strong vanilla notes, the European style of making Chardonnay uses a much lighter hand with the oak, instead allowing the natural citrus and apple flavors to shine through.

Much of the world’s best Chardonnay comes out of France, where the wine was originally made, although the two styles of making Chardonnay wines are so different that it is not uncommon for someone to prefer the American style and consider it to be better than some of the French wines.

So… which wine is drier, Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay?

While there will always be overlap—some Pinot Grigios may be exceptionally dry, while some Chardonnays may lean towards the sweet side of the dry spectrum—in general, Chardonnay is drier than Pinot Grigio.

Which Red Wine is Lightest: A Help Guide

A Help Guide

Isn’t it wonderful how certain wines bring out rich flavors in different foods? One of the first details many wine connoisseurs want to learn is how to distinguish which wines go with which foods. So what should you consider when deciding which red wine is lightest to compliment your dinner?

What Makes Wine Light, Anyway?

First off, let’s consider what it is that actually makes wines light or heavy. Technically, the term “light” refers to the body of the wine, as in how much alcohol is packed into it. Wines with less alcohol content are considered “lighter” than wines with more alcohol content. You can imagine lighter wines feeling something like water in your mouth—however flavourful—and heavier wines feeling something closer to milk.

Sometimes, red wine is referred to as full, medium, or light-bodied. These refer to the presence of a wine’s tannins, which are born from the skins of the grapes it was made from. Tannins give red wines their colour and girth, and are credited for the “drying out” sensation red wine gives your mouth. The less tannins, the thinner-bodied the wine, the lighter the wine.

I like light red wines because they can be used to complement a large variety of meals. Their fruity flavor and light aromas bounce off your mouth and nose providing you with a great wine-to-food ratio. From pizza to filet mignon, a light red wine will fit the bill.

So, Which Red Wine is Lightest?

When it comes to the tannins in red wine, there are certain grapes from which the wine is made that are lighter than others. For example, a Chianti or Merlot will have more tannins than a light-bodied wine, but less than a heavy-bodied wine. The grapes that create such medium-bodied delicacies will be darker in color, pulling rich flavor and deep color from their skins.

Pinot Noir, a more burgundy-colored wine from France, offers the delightful fruity taste of any other light red wine with the sophistication of a more premiere wine class. Paired with grilled salmon, rack of lamb, or even turkey, Pinot Noir is sure to delight your senses and is a deliciously light red wine.   Plan on spending a little more on a bottle of this wine—it is worth it!

Then there are the Gamay grapes, which produce some of the lightest and most delicious wines available. You can usually find these wines to be inexpensive and available at most grocery stores. The best Gamay grape wines can be found by names such as “Beaujolais” and are grown in France.

When considering which red wine is lightest, it is essential to look at wines created from Gamay grapes. Rich, splendidly colourful, and tasty on the tongue, you will find these wines to be the lightest of the light reds and provide you all of the goodness you expect from a light red wine. So grill up your lamb chops or salmon—or even some spaghetti—and you will have yourself one delicious and light wine meal!

Where Did Grapes Originate

Orgins of grapes

When you’re taking that first sip of Chardonnay with dinner or deciding between a Bordeaux and a Côtes du Rhône, do you ever think about the history that’s in that little glass? Have you ever asked yourself, “Where did grapes originate?”

Hundreds of thousands of steps have had to be taken in order to get this wine to your table, the first of which, of course, involves where grapes originated.

The Asian and African Origins

Where did grapes originate? Hard to say. The first grape thongs probably originated in Asia around 5000 BC. The first cultivation of grapes was most likely in Egypt, as hieroglyphics from this region show the origin of grape cultivation and consumption.

The European Origin

The origin of grapes as an ingredient in alcohol such as wine seems to be able to be traced back to the ancient Greeks, Phoenicians and Romans, so these places are also important to consider when asking yourself, “Where did grapes originate?”

These civilizations revered the grape and its winemaking properties and quickly began to cultivate grapes. The origin of many varieties of grapes can be traced to this period, when about 90 varieties were being cultivated. The vines that were planted in the Rhine Valley, still a notable German winemaking region, were planted there in the 2nd century.

The American Origin

However, the question of where grapes originated is not nearly this simple: fruits related to grapes (belonging to the same vitis genus as modern grapes) were eaten in North America by some native groups, however these fruits were not the same as the grapes that had originated in Europe.

European settlers who saw the American version of grapes found them unsuitable for winemaking, and European travelers planted their own grapes in America as early as the 17th century, in New Mexico. Cultivators quickly relocated to California, where the climate was more suitable to winemaking, so even the New World is important when considering the question, “Where did grapes originate?”

The history of the grape is long and varied, with several geographical regions coming into play. It’s an interesting and complicated history, and one that you will certainly find interesting to ponder over your next glass of wine.