From a technical point of view, a wine bottle protects its contents from harmful external influences. Wine bottles are – let's assume – always made of glass. The precious content is contained in packaging that is 100 % inert.
The history of the wine bottle
The oldest wine bottle in the world is exhibited in a museum in Speyer, Germany. It was discovered in a Roman tomb and dates back to the 4th century AD. As we now know, the Romans stored their wine in bottles, although back then these were balloon-shaped containers. As of the 17th century, the use of bottles for storing wine spread throughout Europe. Due to the breakability of glass, however, clay or stoneware still retained the upper hand. All this changed with advances made in glass processing. While bottles from that period were still rather squat with a broad base and a long, slender neck, by the 19th century the shape we know today had begun to dominate.
Essentially, these are the main bottle shapes:
- Bordeaux Bottle (Bordelaise Grande Tradition)
- Burgunderflasche (Bourgogne)
- Champagne bottle (Champenoise)
- Elsässer Flöte (Flûte d’Alsace)
- Keulenflasche (Mace-shape bottle)
- Port wine bottle
- Rheingauer Flöte (Rheingau flute)
- Schlegelflasche (Schlegel bottle)
What the bottle colour tells us
Wine connoisseurs are not interested only in the shape of the bottle – it’s also the colour that gives us the first inkling as to the quality of the wine inside. So, for example, clear or light bottles promise rather young and lively wines that tend to have a higher degree of acidity. Conversely, dark bottles indicate rich, heavier wines with aging potential. Green, brown and white are the standard colours for modern wine bottles. Antique blue, pale green or feuille-morte are other common shades. We have decided to base our range on the two basic colours brown and white. Using these as a starting point, however, virtually all colour gradations are possible. Something to bear in mind with any tone or product design, however, is that the darker the wine bottle, the higher its UV protection.
Quality criteria of wine bottles
An important factor in wine bottle quality is the wall thickness, which determines the weight of the bottle and consequently the impression that it makes on the customer. A bottle’s wall thickness is of course also responsible for its stability and the safety of the packaging. It also determines the type of finish, particularly in wine bottles, as well as which type of closure ultimately seals the bottle. The most common types of closures for wine bottles are the cork, the twist-off cap and the somewhat less popular glass stopper. These closures not only influence the quality of the bottle’s content, they also characterise the product design.
With our range, and particularly so with projects in our CRISTALLO UNICO series, we seek to give you complete freedom to decide what type of closure you would like.