Local Focus – Global Reach learn more about Kudos 365

Share, Engage & Explore Our Kudos Community

Posted by J Overstreet

Have you ever wondered about the shapes of wine bottles? Are they shaped differently for a reason or is it just random artistry? As is often the case in wine, tradition is the major player for the different bottle shapes. There are four main types:

Bordeaux bottles have high shoulders with straight sides for wines like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio. The high shoulders were created to help trap sediment due to prominent tannins in most of these wines.
These bottles are made of thick glass with a high punt (indentation on the bottom of the bottle).

Burgundy bottles are tall and wide with sloping shoulders for wines like Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Chablis and Pinot Gris. Much like Bordeaux bottles, these are made of thick glass. Purportedly, Burgundy bottles were the first to be created and the sloping shoulders made for easy stacking as well as achievability for glass blowers.

Champagne bottles are wide with low shoulders for wines like Champagne, Cava, and Prosecco. These bottles were created out of necessity due to the pressure inside the bottles (roughly 70-90 psi). They are made of thick glass, have a high punt and low shoulders to contain the immense pressure inside the bottles. By the way, the thick corks and cages securing them are no mistake either.

German/Alsatian bottles are narrow and tall with gentle sloping shoulders for wines like Riesling and Gewürztraminer. The slender shape and lighter weight of these bottles were made for convenient stowing on ships during their voyage along trade routes in the early years.

Hopefully this bit of trivia may make shopping easier - especially the next time you and your fellow wine shopper are both trying to spot that last bottle of Bordeaux!

Your avatar
Amy • 09/29/2016 at 10:50PM • Like Profile

Interesting and informative, thanks!

Your avatar
J Overstreet • 10/02/2016 at 05:46PM • Like Profile

Thank you Amy. Glad you enjoyed it! :)

I have lived on Camano Island for two years and enjoyed every minute of it but alas my time here has come to an end. My family and I are packing up and moving to California where I hope to enjoy a little warmer weather and new adventures in wine and whatever else life has to offer. If you would like to keep in touch, please feel free to follow along on my social media outlets:

Blog: www.deepredcellar.com (a post every week or two on wine knowledge, stories, etc. - much like you've seen on here)

Instagram: www.instagram.com/deepredcellar (daily wine-centric pictures and info.)

Twitter: https://twitter.com/deepredcellar

Facebook: www.facebook.com/deepredcellar

How can it be that summer is over! Kids are well into school, the days are shorter…and white wines are once again forgotten until next spring.

I have little prejudice when it comes to wine but I tend to drink white wine mostly during the warm months when the sun is shining and a chilled, crisp white is the perfect patio sipper.

So goodbye Chardonnay - I realize you’re the world’s most popular white grape variety but you can be fairly neutral. I mean you’re sometimes used as a blending grape! Time to move on from your green apple, pear, pineapple and mango aromas even though you can be deliciously full bodied with buttery nuances and toasty notes when aged in oak barrels.

So long Sauvignon Blanc - Let’s face it, some people have never really cared for your aromas of grass and green pepper. I will remember you more for your grapefruit, melon and gooseberry. Oh, and the fact that you pair so well with so many foods.

Farewell Riesling – I’m guessing not as many people drink you even though we are in Washington the Riesling producing wonderland, and you pair perfectly with spicy food. Your aromas of peach, nectarine, apricot, honeysuckle and jasmine will be missed.

Arrivederci Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris – I know, I know, your name means gray and it seems appropriate for you to be around for the impending gray skies but the weather will be too cold to enjoy your delicate, light bodied character. We’ve had enough of your aromas of apple, lemon, peach and minerals. And you’re just too confusing being the same grape variety from different origins.

WAIT! There is no way I can go on hiatus until spring to enjoy these beauties again. In fact, I may drink a Riesling at my favorite Thai restaurant tonight!

Your avatar
J Overstreet • 10/19/2016 at 01:42PM • Like 1 Profile

Tess, remember with those reds, the higher the alcohol content, the warmer you will feel...at least temporarily in your throat. :)

In America, we often purchase wine by the grape (Merlot, Chardonnay, etc.) but there are many wines not labeled as a single grape…these are called blends.

In the Unites States, a blend is any wine consisting of two or more grapes with less than 75% of each grape. For example, a wine with 55% Cabernet Sauvignon and 45% Merlot is considered a blend. Many blends have 3, 5, even 13 different grapes.

Our blends in the U.S. have origins back to Europe. Let’s take a look at some of these and set you up nicely for your next trip to the wine store:


A red blend generally consists of 5 grapes. They are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Often you will see wines with the first three grapes in any order. Spring Valley Vineyard in Walla Walla produces “Uriah” that is a Merlot predominant Bordeaux blend.

A white blend generally consists of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. DeLille Cellars produces a 95 point representation called “Chaleur Estate Blanc.”


A red blend generally consists of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvédre (commonly referred to as GSM). The famous Chateauneuf-du-Pape wine from this region consists of a whopping 13 grapes! Rôtie Cellars produces an excellent representation of a GSM with their “Southern Blend.”

A white blend that is easily accessible is Viognier rounded out with any combination of Rousanne, Marsanne, and/or Ugni Blanc. Yakima Valley’s Airfield Estates prouduces “Lightening White” consisting of Viognier, Rousanne and a small amount of Marsanne.

Generally speaking Chianti consists predominantly Sangiovese with a couple other (sometimes white) grapes. A Super Tuscan is a red wine that can be 100% Cabernet Sauvignon as it started but now-a-days is often seen as a blend using Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, Cabernet Franc and other obscure grapes. Brian Carter Cellars produces “Tuttorosso” which is a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.

For more wine-centric fun, follow me on instagram: @deepredcellar

Get Involved with Your Community

Join Kudos to share your expertise

Share your photography. Showcase your events, expertise, and art. Connect with what's happening.