Tag Archives: wine bottle shapes

What is the Purpose of a Punt in a Wine Bottle?

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Question from Sherry: Nancy, my husband said that you are the only one he trusts with this question. What is the purpose of a punt in a wine bottle? Thank you so very much!

Reply: Thanks, Sherry! I’d better watch that I don’t get a big head! 

Sherry’s asking about the dimple in the bottom of the bottle – it’s also called a “kick-up”. As far as I can tell, at this point in wine’s history, there’s no reason at all for the bottle to have a punt other than marketing. The punt makes the bottle look bigger and also adds weight so it feels more substantial in your hand – you think maybe it’s worth that extra dollar or two… 

One of the many things I love about wine is that it brings together so many interests: History, art, religion, economics…

Antique glass collectors will know that the punt is all about history. The term is short for the “punty”, or the pontil rod used in free-hand glass blowing. This wooden tool was attached to the base of the hot bottle while it was being blown from the other end. When the punty was broken off, after the glass cooled, it left a “pontil scar”. If they attempted to make the bottom of the bottle completely flat, it often came out slightly convex and the bottle would tip, so they went ahead and pushed it in a little, forming the punt, to give the bottle stability. This also assures that the scar won’t scratch the table. These days, collectors look for the pontil scar on the bottom of old glass vases and perfume bottles as a mark of authenticity. Continue reading

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