There are a lot of different choices available when it comes to the wine bottle. You have clear, amber, green, blue, frosted white or red for color choices. Then the bottles come in punted, semi punted, or no punt. What is a winemaker to do? Go with what you want to use. Yes, the bottle color and shape can play a role in how the wine ages, but unless you plan on storing a wine for over 10 years, don’t worry about it.
The shape of the bottle can influence how the wine ages because the air will come into contact with the wine in different areas depending on the bottle. That’s why they make a wine bottle specific to burgundy (or deeper red) wines. This really doesn’t matter to the person who is going to store the wine for a year or two and drink it.
The punt is more for decoration then anything for the average home winemaker. The punt does play a role for long term storage, but again, unless you are planning on storing the wine for years, don’t worry about it.
The wine bottle color does play a role on how your wine stores. A red wine will not do well in a clear bottle because the light coming through the glass will make the wine fade. If you store your wine in a box, then this isn’t too much of an issue, but if you leave your wine in an area where light comes into contact with it, make sure you use a colored bottle.
Colored bottles help prevent light from filtering into the wine and making it fade. In worst case scenarios, wine can actually oxidize because of light. The constant heating and cooling of the bottle will cause the wine to go bad.
Most bottles that you see on the shelf are chosen mostly out of tradition, and not so much about storing the wine anymore. There are several collectible wines that are placed in certain bottles to help preserve them, but the average wine is placed in a bottle out of tradition. Don’t be afraid to use a burgundy bottle for a chardonnay. Use whatever bottle that you like and think looks good for your tastes.
We know that there are a lot of wine aficionados out there that are cringing at this article, but they probably won’t be drinking your wine, so if you like the way a bottle looks, go for it!