You live in wine country. You enjoy rounding out your evening with a glass or two. You have your favorites. There is that deep red that you serve with your famous steak, and that sweet white you serve with dessert. You know that wine-making has a rich history. This history is full of traditions. Some of these traditions serve a purpose. Other traditions are merely cosmetic.
You want to have a gathering at your home. You want to be able to charm your guests with a little fun wine knowledge. You don’t need to get out the history books and memorize the processes of fermentation.
What’s up with those bottles?
You have seen wine in a multitude of shapes and colors. You may have picked a bottle up and wondered why the bottle is the way it is.
The shape of the bottle tends to be out of tradition. The shape of the bottle began as a reflection of the origin of grapes the wine is derived from. For instance, most Bordeaux style wines come in bottles with slender, long necks and high shoulders. These wines are from a region of France. There are four general shape categories for bottles. These four are Bordeaux, Burgundy, Hock and Champagne.
Wine bottles can be different colors. You have probably seen several shades of green, brown or clear. You may wonder if these are just to mirror a sense of sophistication, or make the wines appear more appealing on the shelf. The color of the bottle is purposeful. You’ve seen that wine is stored in cellars. This is for a reason. Sunlight can affect wine. This is why you will find certain wines in dark bottles. You will likely find fruity wines in lighter bottles, as the assumption is that they will be consumed more quickly. Certainly some color choices are based on aesthetics, but traditionally, color is a means of conservation.
What about the thing on the bottom?
The indentation on the bottom of some bottles is called the punt. This indentation was originally a tool for glass-makers. It allows the bottle to stand sturdy and indicated elegance. Punts are still used today, and used more widely. It is said that the punt is often used to catch sediment within the bottle.
What about alcohol content?
Wine is often viewed as a sophisticated drink option. It can be a go-to for dinner parties and up-scale dining experiences. You may find that it is easy to go through a bottle of wine with a friend. You will want to be careful when consuming wine. In some cases, wine can be twice as strong as beer. The smooth, sometimes fruity taste of wine can be deceiving and misleading. You will want to drink in moderation and take safety precautions when commuting after consuming wine.