My friend Derrick, a wine and food blogger at An Obsession With Food, and more than occasional journalist has recently published an excellent piece of work relating the history of the wine bottle. As Derrick notes in his piece, we rarely pay very close attention to the one thing responsible for preserving our wine (in addition to the cork, which we know is a shifty character). Sure many people choose wines just based on how the bottle, and more often the label look to them. I've done it many times.
Over the years you also start to notice the weight of a bottle. When I have my monthly wine tasting get-togethers with friends, and we are blind tasting wines out of paper bags, it's impossible to avoid noticing which wines come in heavier (read: more expensive) glass bottles. These can be an unwanted (after all we're trying to be objective) tip-off to the fact that the wine itself is more expensive, and possibly French (especially when we're tasting Pinot Noir).
Winemakers are also starting to choose unusual bottle shapes as a matter of aesthetics and branding. Altamura, for instance, sells their Cabernet in a bottle that looks more like it should have balsamic vinegar in it, but it sure is easy for me to pick it out on a rack (mostly because the damn thing barely fits). Perhaps the coolest bottle I've seen in years is the one that hold Ramian wine these days, with its jewel-like integrated "R" and perfect polish.
I any case, I suggest you check out Derrick's article. It's worth a read for any serious wine aficionado.
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.
I'll Drink to That: Danilo Nada of Nada Fiorenzo Wine News: What I'm Reading the Week of 8/23 Vinography Images: Night Sorting Small is Beautiful: The Champagnes of Savart I'll Drink to That: Karl duHoffmann of Anchor Brewing Warm Up: Jerez de la Frontera I'll Drink to That: Antonio Flores of González Byass California 2015 - Vintage of Fire Wine News: What I'm Reading the Week of 8/16 A Selection of Georgian Wines
Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune