When you order a bottle of wine, you may look at the shape, size, colour. There are many types of wine bottles with different shapes and sizes, and it’s all for a reason. Although the shape of the bottle doesn’t really have a clear influence on the wine, the size and colour do. Did you know that?
For example, the colour of the bottle has a lot to do with what is in it. The most common are black or green bottles. This is because those colours protect the wine from light, so they are most often used for Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva wines, which can spend a long time in the bottle. On the other hand, we have clear bottles, which are more common with white wine and rosé. With these younger wines we also like to see the colour at a glance.
But now let’s get serious about the differences between types of wine bottles by shape and size that we can find today.
Types of wine bottles by shape
We’re going to start with the Bordeaux bottle, which is the most commonly used to bottle wine all over the world, although there are some variations. It gets its name from the French city of Bordeaux and has straighter “shoulders” and a shorter neck than other types.
Our Coto de Imaz Gran Reserva, in addition to being spectacular, comes in a Bordeaux bottle, like most of our wines. Have you tried it?
After the most commonly used bottle, let’s turn to the oldest type of bottle on record: the Burgundy bottle. As you can see, the main difference lies in the shoulders, which are much more sloping than the Bordeaux bottle and the longer neck.
This is the longest, thinnest and most svelte of all the bottles on the market. It is mainly used for white or rosé wines and comes in light colours. There are some wineries, however, that use it more daring colours.
The main characteristic, not of shape but of manufacturing, is that a champagne bottle has much thicker walls than the others. Why? So it can withstand the pressure of this type of wine. Another characteristic of this bottle, which is somewhere between the Burgundy and Alsace bottles, is the cone-shaped punt on the bottom, which also serves the same purpose.
This bottle is most commonly used for the fortified wines that are so traditional in southern Spain. The design is of Spanish origin, of course, with very marked shoulders and a particular neck that broadens at its base. This type of bottle is most commonly seen in black glass, as this type of wine is typically stored for a long time.
Types of wine bottles by size
Now that we’ve seen the types of bottle by shape, we’re going to go over the types of bottle by size (in centilitres). As you’ll see, after the Magnum, all the names are from the Bible. Did you know that?
- 18-37 cl: Piccolo or Split
- 50 cl: Demi or Half
- 62 cl: Jennie
- 75 cl: Standard
- 150 cl: Magnum
- 300-450 cl: Jeroboam or Double Magnum
- 600 cl: Imperial
- 600-640 cl: Methuselah
- 900 cl: Salmanazar
- 1,200-1,280 cl: Balthazar
- 1,500-1,600 cl: Nebuchadnezzar
- 1,800 cl: Solomon
The most common bottles are 75cl, but more and more people enjoy and value the quality of Magnum bottles, like our Coto de Imaz Reserva Magnum.
Why? Because with this type of bottle, as there more wine, there is less micro-oxygenation and fluctuation in temperature. This gives us a more balanced wine. Plus, it’s perfect for sharing with a group of friends on a special occasion!
Before you go, one interesting fact. Did you know the biggest bottle in the world was made in China by Wang Chen winery? It contained no less than 1,850 litres, or roughly 60,000 glasses of wine. You’d need too many friends (well, a whole town really) to drink it but if you fancy a fun plan with wine, keep this in mind.