So many colors! So many shapes!

I have a special possession that brings back romantic memories of a long ago date, but it isn’t jewelry, or a flower pressed in a book or even a photograph.  It’s a beautifully shaped wine bottle in my favorite shade of sapphire blue.  Now years have gone by and my date at that dinner has been my spouse for a long time and our busy lives sometimes get in the way of romance.  But that bottle graces our breakfast table every morning and it always warms my heart and take us back to recapture all the magic of that night, even if just for a moment or two.

The Wine Bottle and It’s Use

Wine is typically bottled in one of four bottle shapes.  Wine connoisseurs can often glean information about the type of grape and the area where the wine was bottled by observing the shape and color of the wine bottle.  High shouldered bottles known as Bordeaux bottles are used for red wines such as Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon and also for fine white wines such as Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc.  These wine are made from special varieties of grapes native to the Bordeaux region.

A bottle known as the Burgandy style bottle has sloping shoulders.  Originating from the French region known as Burgandy, this bottle typically holds Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs, even when used to bottle these wines produced in other areas of the globe.

Sparkling wine and Champagne are bottled in a wide bodied, heavy bottle with a softly sloping shoulder, reminescent of the Burgandy wine bottle.  This specialty bottle has a neck that is different than other wine bottles because it has a lip at the top shaped as a band of glass.  This type bottle is traditional for use in bottling champagnes and sparkling wines, no matter what region they are from.

Another easy to recognize bottle is the Hoch bottle.  The Hoch bottle originated in Germany in the Mosel and Rhine areas and in the Alsace area of France.  Now used in wineries all around the world, this tall bottle is used for wines from many different varieties of grapes such as Muller-Thurgau and Riesling wines.

Wine bottle colors are often chosen by the winemaker and come in greens, ambers, clear and the rare sapphire shades of blue.  While mostly aesthetic, the color of the bottle can make a difference in the quality of the wine over time.  For instance, a sparkling clear bottle might be chosen by a winemaker to demonstrate the clarity and color of his wine.  However, wine in clear bottles may lose quality due to ultra violet light and therefore, should be consumed fairly quickly.

The opportunity to explore not only fine wine, but also finely crafted wine bottles is just one more reason to treat yourself to a wine of the month club membership.  And maybe you, like me, will feel the warmth of a favorite memory when ever you see a beautiful wine bottle glinting in the sunshine.