If you pick up a wine bottle from a shelf in a store, you don’t see it immediately, but besides the long neck and the pretty label on the bottle, you can see a sort of dimple at the bottom of the bottle.
In the wine world, this dimple is called the punt, and you can find it in almost all commercially available wines.
There are many reasons why wine bottles have a punt.
Some experts say the punt makes it easier to hold the bottle, while others believe that this indentation even improves the quality of the wine.
We take a look at the different possible reasons why wine bottles have a punt.
The Punt Makes It Easier To Hold A Wine Bottle
When you take a wine bottle off a shelf, you usually grab it by its neck. But when wine bottles are stored upright, you usually take them from the bottom.
The punt helps to give you a better grip on the bottle. You can place your thumb inside the punt and hold the base of the wine bottle with the rest of your fingers.
The Punt Allows The Bottle To Stand Upright
Traditionally, wine bottles were blown by experienced glassblowers. They used to add in a punt to force the seam of the bottle further up.
This allowed the bottle to stand upright and it prevented any glass at the bottom from sticking out.
This meant that there would be no accidents with dangerous glass at the bottom of the wine bottle.
A Punt Used To Be A Sign Of Quality
The production process of wine is extensive, from the bottles to the wine itself. In the past, punts used to be an indication of the quality of a wine.
However, there is no link between wine quality and the existence of a punt in a wine bottle today.
Punts Make Wine Bottles Look Bigger
Wine making is an extremely competitive industry, and as a wine manufacturer, you want to make your wine bottle stand out on the shelf.
The average wine bottle is 750ml, and when you compare the same size bottles with and without punt, you will notice that the punt bottle looks much bigger.
This is just an optical illusion and there is exactly the same amount of wine in both.
The Punt Catches Sediment
As wine is made with natural ingredients, there is always some sediment left at the bottom of the bottle.
Some wine connoisseurs believe that the angle of the punt allows the sediment to collect in a small area around the base of the bottle.
This prevents any of the sediment to rise further up and blend with the wine making it also taste better.
Punts Make Your Wine Cool Quicker
When your wine bottle has a punt at the bottom, then this increases the surface area. This allows more of the ice and cooler temperature to reach your wine.
This, in turn, chills the contents of the bottle much quicker.
A Punt Used To Prevent A Bottle From Being Refilled
Today, it’s quite natural to use that we recycle all our glass bottles, including wine bottles.
However, in the past, there was no bottle cleaning and recycling program in place, so bottles were often simply destroyed.
According to folklore, taverns used to have a vertical steel pin in their bars, so once a bottle was empty, it would be punctured with the pin.
The punt allowed the bottle to be punctured easier, and this meant that the bottles couldn’t be refilled again.
This may not just be for the lack of a recycling program but more likely for the advantage of the tavern keeper as guests couldn’t fill up their bottles with other drinks.
Punts Make Wine Bottles Easier To Clean
If you ever tried to clean a bottle at home, then you know how difficult it is to get down the long neck and ensure that you clean all the way down to the bottom.
When it comes to cleaning a wine bottle, it’s important that it is done evenly, so no spot of the glass is missed.
When you shoot water into a wine bottle with a punt, then the water is spread out evenly across the bottom.
The Punt Makes A Wine Bottle More Pressure Resistant
Despite their thick walls, wine bottles also can break under high pressure. Some wine manufacturing processes require this high pressure, such as when making prosecco or champagne.
These pressurized wines require a bottle with a punt to withstand the extra intensity of the carbon dioxide inside the bottle.
This is essential for fermented wines, as well as beer, which requires a stronger bottle shape to hold up against the extra pressure when the yeast turns the sugar into alcohol inside the bottle.
Punts Allow Bottles To Be More Easily Organized
If you just have a single bottle of wine, then this tip may not be applicable, but if you have a few bottles or even a wine cellar, then punts can make it easier for your bottles to be organized.
You can stack the bottles much easier on your wine shelf and you’ll be able to find your favorite wine bottle much faster.
Does A Deeper Punt Mean A Better Wine?
In the past, when wine bottles were made by hand, the depth of the punt varied widely.
However, today, the punt depths of wine bottles is very similar as the size of wine bottles have also been standardized.
Some people believe that the depth of the indentation on the bottom of a wine bottle impacts the quality of the wine, for good or worse.
However, this is a common misconception and the quality of the wine is not related to the punt size.
There are many reasons why wine bottles have a punt. From making the bottles easier to clean to making them look bigger, punts in a glass wine bottle are simply an old tradition.
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