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An Introduction to Wine Making Bottles

You could be a very experienced amateur wine maker and still know little to nothing about one aspect of wine making – bottling. Sure, you know all about how to bottle the wine you make with your wine making kit and you know how to properly seal your bottles to prevent spoilage and allow your wine to age properly, but how much do you know about the bottles themselves? There are different kinds of wine bottle you can choose and while to be perfectly honest, any wine bottle will do in a pinch, certain types are traditionally used for different types of wine.

While there are more types of wine bottle out there than we’re going to cover here today, it certainly doesn’t hurt to know a little more about these wine making supplies; and your oenophile friends may be impressed to see you bottling your wines in the right type of wine bottle. However, it is important to remember that there are exceptions to every rule, especially when it comes to wine and you’ll see a lot of wines which are traditionally bottled in one type of bottle in other styles of bottle.

There are three basic types of bottle which you’ll commonly see in use:

The basic high shouldered bottle. Also known as a Bordeaux bottle, this is the type of bottle used for the majority of red wines, especially Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and blends made from these grapes – the name comes of course from the Bordeaux wine region, where these grapes are widely grown. You’ll also find this style of bottle used for wines made from the white grapes grown in the Bordeaux region, Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc.

The sloping shouldered bottle. This type is also called a Burgundy bottle and it is the bottle which most of us associate with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. As you’ve probably guessed, this style is named after France’s Burgundy wine region, where these two grapes predominate.

The Hoch bottle. This style looks like a taller, narrower version of the Burgundy bottle. The name is German for “high” and this is indeed a bottle which is commonly used for German white wines, especially Riesling and Gewurztraminer.

In addition to these types of wine bottle, there are a few others which you’ll come across from time to time including the Fiasco (the straw-bottomed bottle traditionally used for Chianti) and the sturdy bottles used for Champagne and other sparkling wines.

Of course, you can use any type of bottle you like for your wines. After all, one of the greatest things about having a wine making kit is the ability to take charge of the process – and you can make any type of wine you want with your wine making supplies. While it’s all up to you in the end, knowing more about the details of wine making, including wine making bottles helps you to learn more about wine and to grow as a winemaker.