Dear Wine Ladies
Why do some wine bottles have a deep indent on the bottom?
Richard, Calgary, Alberta
There are several theories out there as to the reason for this indentation, otherwise known as the “punt”. One that seems to get the most attention and is very likely, is that in the old days when wine bottles were hand-blown glass it would have been difficult to make a perfectly flat bottom hand made bottle, thus the punt added stability and strength. Now of course, this is no longer an issue as wine bottles are machine made.
Collector of the sediment
A second explanation is that the punt would serve as a collector of the sediment of the wine, facilitating the pourer of the wine to stop as the level of the wine in the bottle reached the tip of the punt. Having said that still today you will find many still wines with an indentation in the bottle, which is more a question of choice, or marketing rather than necessity. Perhaps the bottle with a punt leaves the consumer with the impression that this vessel might contain a “superior” wine.
Greater strength and stability
In the case of sparkling wines, the punt definitely serves the purpose of providing greater strength and stability of the base of the bottle, enough to withstand the pressure of the bubbles should the bottle be plunked down too aggressively or mishandled.