Why Do Wine Bottles Have A Dimple In The Bottom? - Wine Turtle

Why Do Wine Bottles Have A Dimple In The Bottom?

This post was updated on: December 1, 2018

Why Do Wine Bottles Have A Dimple In The Bottom?

Why Do Wine Bottles Have A Dimple In The Bottom?

Have you ever took the time to analyze a bottle of wine? Have you ever wondered why do wine bottles have a dimple in the bottom? I always had the curiosity to find out what determined winemakers to use this type of bottle.

After all, the characteristic is pretty unique. You won’t spot a beer bottle with a punt in the bottom. Nor a spirit bottle with similar features.

It took me a while to find the answer, but apparently there are good reasons why wine bottles have a dimple in the bottom. Yes, you read that right! Reasons. Here are ten of them, so next time someone in your circle raises the question, you’ll have the right answer at hand.

1. The Dimple Balances the Bottle

As odd as it may seem, the indent present in the bottle’s bottom plays a strong role in keeping the bottle upright. This is often valid in standard and large wine bottles, but smaller sized bottles also have a better stability if they have the dimple.

The reason is simple. The dimple prevents the uneven glass on the bottle’s bottom from compromising balance. At the same time, the bottom of the bottle is rounded, which lowers the cutting hazards.

2. The Dimple Makes It Easier to Hold the Bottle

If you’re a casual wine drinker, this may not make too much sense. But just observe a versed waiter or a sommelier serving the beverage. They are holding the bottle from the bottom. This serving method is explained by the necessity to keep the wine at the right serving temperature.

The sommelier is actually doing their best from transferring as little heat as possible to the beverage.

Now, if you’re trying to hold a flat bottom bottle from its bottom, chances are it may slip. The weight of the bottle combined with the weight of the wine may make it too heavy to hold with just one hand. But the dimple solves the problem, giving you a great spot where to place your thumb while you grab the base of the bottle with your other fingers.

3. It Was An Indication of Quality

The dawns of winemaking were marked by the emergence of quality wines, and winemakers typically used this style of bottles exclusively for the highest quality beverages. You’ll see why shortly, but sadly, this practice was lost over the time.

Today, almost all wines come in bottles with dimples, and assessing quality based on the bottle style is near impossible.

4. Dimples Catch Wine Sediment

If you were wondering why bottle quality wine in bottles with dimples, the answer is simple. The dimple catches the sediment in wine and collects it in a tighter area near the base of the bottle. This usually stops the sediment from mixing back into the wine as you pour it.

Wine sediment may not be an issue for white wines, with some exceptions, but most red wines are renowned for their sediment.

Many vintages are spoiled by the sediment blending back with the liquid before serving, and according to the wine manufacturers and sommeliers, the dimple helps keep the sediment where it belongs, on the bottom of the bottle.

5. The Dimple Chills Your Wine Quicker

If you’re a casual wine drinker, chances are you didn’t see any benefits in the wine bottle design as far as you are concerned. So, here is an advantage that will make you think twice before investing in a wine bottle without a dimple.

The dimple chills your wine faster by increasing the contact surface area between the walls of the bottle and the liquid.

Whether it’s the chill area inside a wine fridge or the ice in a wine bucket, the advantage is clear. You’ll get the chance to pour yourself a glass of wine chilled to perfection faster. And what could be better than that after a long day of work?

6. The Dimple Makes the Bottle Seem Larger

This is a marketing strategy wineries use to sell their bottles, and it works. The dimple on the bottom of the bottle creates an optical illusion, giving you the impression that there is more wine in the bottle than it actually is.

If you want to test this, just compare two standard bottles, one with the dimple and one without a dimple. You’ll see the bottle with the dimple seems larger.

They both hold the same quantity of liquid, but your brain will be easily tricked into purchasing the bottle that seems to hold more beverage.

7. The Dimple Makes it Easier to Clean the Bottle

Have you ever made wine at home? If you haven’t, you should. It’s easy and rewarding. It’s also cheaper than buying quality wine from the store or from a winery, and there are dozens of recipes you can use.

If I convinced you to give it a try, know that your best bet when it comes to choosing the right bottles is the bottles with dimples in the bottom, because they are easier to clean.

You’ll still have to struggle to get the dust out of your bottle, but the dimple spreads the water more evenly on the bottle’s walls, making it easier to clean it.

8. The Dimple Makes it Easier to Stack the Bottles

This advantage only becomes clear if you are an avid collector who has to stack multiple bottles. The dimple makes it easier to do this, by allowing you to fit the neck of a bottle in the bottom of another, for added stability and space saving.

9. The Dimple Makes the Bottle More Resistant to Pressure

Pressure is added to the bottle through corking. But if there is nothing to worry about in the case of a still wine, sparkling wines often require a more resistant glass. This happens because the bubbles increase the pressure in the bottle, causing it to shatter if the glass is too thin.

Bottling the wine in a bottle with a dimple also increases the resistance in case a secondary fermentation starts inside the bottle.

Although in this even the bottle will shatter sooner or later, you might just observe the fermentation before the bottle explodes, leaving you with a big mess to clean.

10. The Dimple Prevented the Bottle From Being Refilled

Or at least, that’s what the folklore says. According to history, bartenders owning taverns would puncture the dimple to prevent the bottle from being refilled. My best guess is they did so to prevent customers from drinking wine that has not been paid for, but there is little evidence to support this.

And even if this is not the main reason why wine bottles have a dimple in the bottom, it’s nice to know it might have served such a purpose.

Final Thoughts

In case you were wondering why do wine bottles have a dimple in the bottom, you now know why it serves. Why it was created in the first time probably has to do either with the stability of the bottle or with its resistance, but there are many additional reasons why winemakers or sommeliers would want to use these types of bottles.

And now that you know the answer to this question throw a wine party and question your guests. What do you think? Will they know at least some of the reasons why the dimple is there? If they don’t, share your knowledge with them. And if you know other reasons why wine bottles have a dimple in the bottom, share your knowledge with us too, by leaving a comment below. I’d love to hear from you!

About the Author

Although not having any formal training in wine, Tim has developed an irrefutable love wine and interest in anything related to it ever since he was a little kid. Coming from a family of wine lovers, it was from a young age that he got exposed to wine and the culture that goes with it and has been addicted ever since. Having traveled to dozens of wine regions across the world including those in France, Italy, California, Australia, and South Africa and tasted a large selection of their wines, it is with great joy that he hopes to share those experiences here and take you along on the journey.

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