From Classic to Modern: Exploring the Different Types of Wine Bottle Shapes

bottle shapes

Wine is a beloved beverage that has been enjoyed by people around the world for centuries. With its rich history and cultural significance, it’s no surprise that wine has evolved into many different styles and varieties. But one aspect of wine that often goes unnoticed is the shape of its bottle.

While it may seem like a minor detail, the shape of a wine bottle can play a significant role in both preserving and enhancing the taste of the wine. In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at the different types of wine bottle shapes and how they came to be.

Bordeaux Bottle

The classic Bordeaux bottle is what most people envision when they think of a wine bottle. With its high shoulders, straight sides, and deep punt at the bottom, it’s an iconic shape that has been used for centuries.


The Bordeaux bottle originated in the French region of Bordeaux, hence its name. In the 18th century, bottles were hand-blown and varied in size and shape. This made it difficult to store and transport wine.

To solve this issue, a law was passed in France mandating that all wine bottles must have a standard shape and volume. This led to the creation of the classic Bordeaux bottle, which has remained unchanged to this day.


The Bordeaux bottle is primarily used for wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and other red grape varieties. Its shape allows for the wine to be stored on its side.

This keeps the cork moist and prevents it from drying out. This ensures that the wine stays fresh and does not spoil.

Burgundy Bottle

Another popular wine bottle shape is the Burgundy bottle. Burgundy bottles have sloping shoulders and a wider body compared to Bordeaux bottles.


The Burgundy bottle also originated in France, specifically in the Burgundy region. It was designed to hold wines made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes.

The sloping shoulders of the bottle were said to have been inspired by the shape of a woman’s body, making it more aesthetically pleasing.


The sloping shoulder design is ideal for larger, fuller-bodied wines as it allows more space for the wine to breathe. The wider base also provides greater stability, making it perfect for aging these types of wines.

Champagne Bottle

Champagne is a type of sparkling wine that has become synonymous with celebrations and special occasions. Its unique bottle shape reflects this sense of luxury and sophistication.


The distinctive shape of the champagne bottle was designed by Benedictine monk Dom Pérignon in the 17th century. He noticed that the traditional Burgundy bottles used for champagne were not strong enough to withstand the pressure of the bubbles in the wine. He created a thicker, sturdier bottle with a deep punt at the bottom to prevent it from exploding.


Aside from being used for champagne, this sleek and modern bottle shape is also commonly used for other types of sparkling wines such as Prosecco and Cava. Its thick glass and deep punt make it ideal for storing and aging these types of wines.

Hock Bottle

The Hock bottle is also known as the Rhine or Alsace bottle. This bottle is tall and slender with gently sloping shoulders.


The hock bottle originated in Germany in the 19th century and was designed specifically to hold German sweet wines. Its tall, slender shape with sloping shoulders was meant to resemble the long, thin neck of a swan.


The hock bottle is still primarily used for German wines, particularly Riesling and Gewürztraminer. Its shape allows the wine to be stored on its side while keeping the cork moist and preventing it from drying out. This ensures that the sweetness and delicate flavors of the wine are preserved.

Chianti Bottle

The Chianti bottle is instantly recognizable with its round body and straw-covered bottom. This shape has become synonymous with Italian wines, particularly Chianti.


This unique bottle shape originated in the 17th century when the Grand Duke of Tuscany made it mandatory for all bottles of Chianti to be sealed with a straw basket. This was done to distinguish Chianti from other wines and to prevent counterfeiting.


The round body of the Chianti bottle allows for easy storage and transportation, while the straw covering provides extra protection. This makes it a popular choice for Italian wines that have a shorter shelf life and need special care during transport.

Modern Innovations

While these classic wine bottle shapes are still widely used today, there have been some modern innovations in recent years. Winemakers are now experimenting with different bottle designs that not only serve practical purposes but also add to the aesthetic appeal of their wines.

Bottle Shapes

Some modern wine bottle shapes include the square-shaped Amarone bottle. This shape reduces the amount of glass needed, making it more sustainable and eco-friendly.

Another modern design is the tall, rectangular Mosel bottle, which has a sleek and elegant appearance. It was created to hold Mosel Riesling wines and is now used for other types of white wines as well. These unique designs not only make for easy storage and transport but also stand out on store shelves.

Glass Sustainability

In addition to innovative bottle shapes, many wine bottle suppliers are now focusing on sustainability. They are using lighter-weight glass and recycled materials, reducing the carbon footprint of wine production.

Closure Systems

In addition to experimenting with bottle shapes, winemakers are also exploring different closure systems. Screw caps and synthetic corks have become popular alternatives to traditional cork closures. These options

Wine Packaging

Furthermore, there has been a rise in alternative wine packaging such as cans and boxes. These are not only more environmentally friendly but also cater to the growing demand for convenient, portable wine options.

Your Ultimate Guide to Bottle Shapes and More

Wine bottle shapes may seem like a small detail but it holds great significance in preserving and enhancing the taste of the wine. From classic Bordeaux bottles to modern designs, each shape has a unique history and purpose. As the wine industry continues to evolve, we can expect to see more innovations in bottle design that not only benefit the wine but also make it more sustainable and accessible for all. Cheers!

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