Does a deep punt on a wine bottle indicate a high quality wine?

Does a deep punt on a wine bottle indicate a high quality wine?

Paula Goddard’s Wines of the Week starting 10th February 2020

Not necessarily. But it does indicate more money has been spent by the winery buying the bottle as the greater the arched indent on the bottom of a bottle the greater the amount of glass the bottle contains. The greater the amount, and so the weight of glass, in a bottle the more expensive it is to buy in. So logic dictates that a winery isn’t going to use its most expensive glass bottles on its cheapest wine but rather save them to fill with the premium liquid.

So as a wine consumer you’ll generally find that cheaper wines come in bottles with barely any punt on the bottom of the bottle (just the merest indent) while the single estate Chateau, and wines from regions that have a caché, are bottled in deeply punted bottles as their greater selling price covers the extra cost of the more expensive bottle (and also a more expensive and longer cork plus a more expensively decorated label).

So a deep punt does usually indicate a wine that sells for a higher price and generally that means one of higher quality. But it’s not always quite that simple.

I have noticed that the wine ranges in the discount supermarkets (Lidl and Aldi here in the UK) are stocking greater numbers of higher quality wines bottled in deeply punted and heavy glass bottles, but these wines are still only selling for around £5.

How can they do this?

It’s down to market share and the ability of these discounters to haggle the price they buy wines, and all their other goods, for. Wineries want to have their wines in these shops and so they sell them at a low, low price to the supermarkets.

If you want to know why there’s a punt on the bottom of wine bottles in the first place then you’ll find there are many answers. Some say it is a hangover from the early days of glass manufacture while others will say it is to catch any sediment that falls down inside the bottle while the wine ages – the sharp angle the punt makes inside the bottle means that the sediment is trapped at the bottom and less likely to be poured out.

A glass bottle manufacturer will tell you a different story – it’s because glass can sag while its hot. When the bottle is being formed into a bottle shape the glass itself is still very hot and pliable. So much so that it can sag downwards – if the punt wasn’t there then any sag would result in a rounded bottom on the bottle meaning it would wobble when placed on a flat surface.

PG Wine Reviews

Tesco Finest German Riesling 2017
£8 Tesco
A lovely light-yellow wine that tastes of baked apples with a pebble-sucking sharp edge.

Co-op Irresistible Italian Gavi 2017
£8.50 Co-op
Floral aromas with fruity melon, apple and peach. Similar flavours but with extra pear. A nice wine.

Carnivor 2016, Californian Cabernet Sauvignon
£10 Ocado
A thick purple wine with aromas of caramel covered raspberries and extra flavours of liquorice.

Kayra’s Buzbag Turkish Okuzguzu-Bugazkere 2017
£10.79 Strictly Wine
This tastes like a Pinot Noir. So deep plum and blackberry flavours. But it’s a native Turkish grape. Good luck with the pronunciation.

Bouchard Pere et Fils La Vignee Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2016
£19 Noble Green Wines
Aromas of cocoa and violets but the taste is lightly fruity with blackberry and plum.

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© Paula Goddard