Wine Tips & Tricks

Decode Wine Just By Looking at the Bottle

You can learn a lot about what type of wine you’re buying based on the style of bottle. Take a look at the major types of wine bottles and what wines tend to be inside.

Types of Wine Bottles


High Shoulder

This is the most common type of bottle style. The bottle style was made popular by Bordeaux where it’s used for Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and white wines made with Sauvignon Blanc.


Sloping Shoulder

The sloping shoulder bottle is commonly used for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah and Grenache. Most oak-aged white wines come in this style of bottle.


Sparkling Wine and Champagne

Sparkling Wine bottles are heavier because they need to withstand the pressure of seven earth atmospheres inside. Some bottles have punts (the divot on the bottom of the bottle) and some without. Often the custom bottles designed are used for premium sparkling wines.


Various Dessert Styles

Tradition is the source of the styles of bottles used for dessert wines. These wine bottles are much more ornate than regular dry wine bottles. Producers will have custom stamps or seals and the shapes differentiate each style of dessert wine.


Unique Bottles

The bottle styles of wine are not as unique or varied as styles for spirits. In fact, based on a glass manufacturer’s catalog from 1906, the design of wine bottles hasn’t really changed in over 100 years.


See all the Wine Bottle Sizes

Learn more about the different wine bottle sizes.

About Madeline Puckette

I'm a certified sommelier and creator of the NYT Bestseller, Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine. Find me out there in the wine world @WineFolly