Does the size and weight of a wine bottle matter?

For the sake of this cartoon:

oh…unlikely to be pinot based on the bottle shape…

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Rusty is using this cartoon in his latest pinot report. Some wineries (e.g. Talley) have caught on to the environmental impact of big bottles on things like shipping and fuel usage. TJ’s won’t have to worry with their (mostly) flimsy glass, closures, and packing cartons.

It’s like they say in Texas about those exaggerated cowboy belt buckles: “The bigger the buckle, the littler the peter.”

Whether we like it or not, big glass has shelf appeal.

I would hope that wineries who are able to sell all, or most of, their production through non-retail channels would use lighter glass, as they (apparently) are not relying on folks buying their wines off retail shelves.

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I cringe when I pick up a bottle and it’s leaden. Such a waste of materials solely for the illusion of quality or importance.

Funny you should say that . . .

I will be bottling up my first pinots later this year most likely and I will be bottling them in a ‘bordeaux’-shaped glass bottle. Why some why ask? Why not, I say - all of my other bottlings are in the exact same bottle, including a dry Gewurztraminer - why should this one be any different? [snort.gif]




Wish all wineries did this!

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Extra large bottles are a PITA (or back) to lug up and down stairs, cost more to ship, won’t fit in many of my racks, and give the illusion of more wine, leading to disappointment when the heavy bottle turns out to be empty.

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I went heavy with my “special edition” wine last release because I thought the price point and the limited availability warranted it. But I’ve changed my mind - the upcoming release I’ve gone for a lighter burgundy bottle for that. I’m over the heavy bottles. But for my bordeaux bottled wines I’ll prob keep the one I’ve got, despite being on the heavier side, simply because they have a shape I like and it’s not made in a lighter version.

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If I were king everything would be bottled in a standard Bordeaux style bottle. Big bottles are a huge PITA.

Then I could actually fit the advertised quantity of bottles in my under counter wine fridge!


greatest bottle ever is the 500ml ones radikon uses. looks great (love the elegant neck) and an appropriate amount of wine for almost any situation. does any other producer also use them?

I tend to prefer Burgundy style bottles simply because they tend to arrange a bit better in the cellar. Some BDX style bottles just don’t seem to fit well in mine. Though, I’d gladly take BDX bottles if all wine was just bottled in a single standard shape. It’d make organising bottles so much easier.

No. Wine matters. Not glass…

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On a more serious note to the thread question:

Not sure if there’s any literature on it, but given that we know temperature affects the ageing of a wine, it’d be interesting to see if bottle thickness affects the ageing of a wine. With thicker heavier bottles having a larger thermal mass, in theory they could provide a wine with a more stable temperature away from some of the variations in temp in the cellar. Though it’d be a double edged sword when it comes to shipping, both in terms of the obvious increase in cost as well as the risk of its thermal mass retaining more of the heat longer if shipping during warmer months.

Interesting that this thread is focusing on the weight of standard 750 bottles where I wouldn’t go for heavier, and hasn’t, apart from a comment on500ml gone into size, eg the potential for 1 litre etc. I understand that for wineries the different sizes are a pain, but I would welcome more variety as I love 375s but rarely get the opportunity to open a magnum.

I don’t buy 750s in big bottles. Period. If my favorite producer switched to those oversized bottles, I’d stop buying them.

But the shape is important.

Early on, I had notions of bottling Riesling in just normal flint bordeaux bottles to get away from the “stigma of Blue Nun”. But I’ve come back - Riesling belongs in a Hock-shaped bottle. It’s classic, it’s traditional, it’s right. Likewise, it feels wrong to me to put Syrah in a Bordeaux bottle - it belongs in a Bourgogne/Rhone-shaped bottle.

So as much as it would simplify to have just one bottle for all wines, I don’t think it’s doable without losing something.