You probably already noticed that wine bottles shapes have multiples sizes in France! Why do French wine bottles have specific shapes? My Winedays is here to explain it to you, and give you some tips to recognize the origin of a wine at a glance!
A long time ago, wine was aged in oak barrels. But in 1634 an English Sir called Kenelm Digby innovated with a great invention: the glass bottle of wine. We noticed that wine keeps better in bottles than in barrels. It is during the 18th century, that the glass bottle got popular and has been adopted by almost everyone. Right after, it has been decided that a glass wine bottle capacity must be of 75 centiliters.
The capacity of wine glass bottles is fixed; However, its shapes are various! The wine bottles shapes are different according to the region. Some are slim, some are bold. Tall or short. Engraved or smooth. Colored or not. With My Winedays, let’s discover how to recognize wine in a flash! You will leave your friend amazed!
Nowadays, we count several glass wine bottles shapes in France : Burgundy, Bordeaux, Alsace, Rhône Valley, Loire Valley, Provence, Jura, Champagne and even more…
So let’s have a closer look at them!
Let’s start with the famous sparkling wine bottle: The Champagne bottle!
To keep the precious bubbles intact, and resist to the pressure inside, Champagne bottles have to be way thicker and heavier than the usual ones. The punt is also deeper, so you can pour easily.
Between Champagne wines themselves, you can find multiples wine bottles shapes in the Champagne region in France!
For example, the world famous Champagne Ruinart, available for tasting on a VIP champagne tour with My Winedays, is famous and well-known for its bottle shape: It has a thin neck but a really large body.
Tall, smooth shoulder, thin neck, slightly conic body: Here is the Burgundy bottle called “Bourguignonne” in French. This bottle can have different colors from brown to green, but the most usual is the “dead leaf” tone. Its origins are from a region called Bourgogne where Pinot Noir, Chardonnay or Chablis is produced. The famous red wine Côte de Beaune comes from this region.
Called « Bordelaise » or « Frontignan » by the people of Bordeaux, this bottle shape is the most common and recognizable in the world. This shape is frequently use by else regions like for the rosé of Provence.
In the past, the Bordeaux bottle was conic. But this shape was too fragile and not really convenient. That is why the bottle became cylindrical. We owe this amazing shape to Mr. Pierre Mitchell (1687-1740), a French Bordeaux barrels maker. It is way more robust and easier to produce this way! Bordeaux is the capital of wine, you probably know Chateau Petrus or Chateau d’Yquem, the famous Sauternes wine, both from this region.
This Loire Valley bottle, called “Ligérienne”, also look like the Burgundy bottle a lot! But a little thinner. Because it was the living place of Kings, you can find a blazon or royal lily flowers engraved on its shoulder. The Muscadet is recognizable the same way. Chinon, Bourgueil, or Montlouis are famous wine appellation from this region.
Why don’t you come in Loire Valley discovering the vineyards and the majestic castles like Chambord? With My Winedays Wine day trip in Loire Valley, you will be able to live a real experience between wine and culture.
The « Flûte d’Alsace », thin and elegant, is the tallest bottle of French wine bottles! Its usual color is a little bit brownish. It perfectly matches with the different wine colors. Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Muscat… a lot of famous wine come from this beautiful region. This shape is certified: it means that every wine certified from Alsace must have this bottle shape.
The Rhône Valley bottle look alike the Burgundy one but is way stubbier. To make the difference, the Rhône Valley bottle have kind of an engraved blazon on its shoulders. You probably once heard the famous Côte du Rhône.
The Provence bottle can show tens of shapes! You can find some really original ones.
But still there is 2 usual shapes:
It is really common to see transparent bottles of Provence wine. It let you see the beautiful color of its sweet and rosy wine.
This bottle is exclusively used for the Yellow Wine of Jura. Another specificity of this bottle is that it contains only 62cl of wine, and not 75cl like the others. This is because this wine is not topped-up. Its shape is short and tough.
Want to discover and learn even more about wine and the secret of the wine bottles shapes with real wine experts? Want to see and taste wine or Champagne? Join My Winedays wine lovers’ team! Come with us on one of our wine day tour in Champagne or in the Loire Valley. You will be able to discover the majestic cellars of the Great houses of Champagne: Moët & Chandon, Taittinger, Veuve Clicquot, Dom Pérignon, Ruinart and many else ! Or taste Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc or Cabernet Franc in the Loire Valley.
Now, will you be able to guess a wine on its bottle shape?
Still be careful! Beside the Alsace wine and the Yellow wine of Jura, any wine can use any bottle shape. Which means that it can be a little bit tricky to guess the wine by its bottle shape. Even if the bottle shape is a great hint, it cannot be 100% right!