Wine Bottles

Wine Bottles have a Rhyme and Reason

wine bottle sizes and colors

Whether you are a fledgling wine maker or just enjoy knowing more about the business, the background on wine bottles is rather interesting.

While most wine bottles are made of glass, in this age of recycling and green concerns, more wines are going the box and plastic bottle route to make recycling easier and reduce the carbon imprint on the world.

However, there’s a large stigma attached to these methods as being a cheaper quality wine, so don’t rule out glass wine bottles just yet.


Wine bottles come in a great number of sizes and these sizes are actually named after famous people and great kings from The Bible.

For example, you’ll find Solomon, Nebuchadnezzar & Salmanazar all as size names for various wine bottles. The shapes that the bottles come in are also very telling of the type of wines that are in them, even without a label.

Burgundies tend to come bottled in a tall bottle that has sloping “shoulders” and a smaller punt (the protruding part of the bottle). However, a Champagne will come in a thick walled bottle that has a very distinctive large punt.


Yes, the colors have a meaning too in wine bottles. If you’re looking for a sweet white wine, you’ll usually find them in clear bottles, whereas if you’re looking for a red Bordeaux, it will normally be housed in a green bottle.

The dry white wines are typically bottled in light green glass and Champagne is usually in a medium to darker green.


Capping is generally done with a wood cork although today’s technology has made screw caps a much more popular option.  Again though, like the more environmentally friendly box wines, the screw caps face the stigma of being a cheaper brand of wine.

While historically the capsule or foil around the cork was used to help keep rodents out and made of lead,  it’s been replaced by a tin, PVC or aluminum these days to keep traces of lead from making it into the wine.

So, the next time you’re shopping, take a look at the bottle and ignore the label to test yourself on your knowledge before you ever read what’s inside the wine bottles.