There’s a lot to be aware of in the world of wine, whether it’s trying to remember the word to describe the bitterness in a wine (the word you’re looking for is tannins, by the way) or attempting to hold your glass the right way. Brace yourself for some more wine knowledge about to come your way. Most people might have a vague awareness that different varietals of wine come in different shaped bottles, yet very few can name why that is or what bottle a Cabernet Sauvignon would be in. Prepare to have all your burning bottle questions answered, as this post will ensure you never mix up your Bordeauxs and Burgundies again.
Burgundy: This bottle shape has gently sloping shoulders and is typically used for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay varietals. Burgundy bottles are sturdy and heavy and like the name suggests, originated in the Burgundy wine region in France. The reason for the different wine bottle shapes stems from these Old World wine growing regions, and history has kept the tradition of different shaped bottles used for specific varietals. The 2013 Saddlerock Pinot Noir is an example of a delicious Pinot stored in a Burgundy bottle.
Bordeaux: With straight sides and taller shoulders than a Burgundy bottle, Bordeaux bottles are used for varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, and a range of other wines, as this is one of the most common bottle shapes. Pictured is the smooth and velvety 2011 Semler Cabernet Sauvignon, waiting to be poured and enjoyed from its Bordeaux style bottle.
Champagne: One of the most recognizable bottle shapes is that of a Champagne bottle, known for being heavier than the others in order help contain the high-pressure beverage inside. The pressure inside these bottles is three times the average car tire pressure, (thanks for the fact, The Wine Doctor!) so the shape and weight of this bottle are very important to the contents inside. Here is the NV Saddlerock Sparkling Brut, ready and waiting to be popped on any cause for celebration (and reading this blog post totally counts as a reason to celebrate).
Alsace/Mosel: Boasting a taller and leaner shape than the other bottle styles mentioned, an Alsace or Mosel bottle typically holds anything from a sweeter dessert style wine to a dryer varietal. The 2014 Saddlerock Gewürztraminer boasts flavors of citrus blossom and peach, combined with hints of honey and guava that make for a sweet, refreshing summer white.
Channel your inner sommelier and impress friends and family at your next gathering by laying down some wine bottle knowledge, sure to make you the most well informed drinker at any party.