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The Ultimate Guide to Buying Wine Bottles

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The art of partaking in fine wine has come a long way from the olden days when wineskins were the norm. Today, at any wine aisle, you will be met by a host of elegant bottles that catch your eye with their charm and sophistication. Long before you ever taste the wine, the bottle is likely to have attracted you first.

In light of this, if you are in the wine business, finding the right wine bottles becomes imperative. There are several factors worth considering when choosing suitable wine bottles for your brand. Price, color, and size are examples of some of the key concerns you may need to address. Finding the right wine bottle supplier to work with thus also becomes essential.

Different types of wine bottles

Let us examine some fundamental issues you may want to keep in mind when buying wine bottles.

Table of Contents

How is a Wine Bottle Made?

Factory machines making glass bottles

The manufacturing of glass wine bottles begins with feeding the raw materials of glass into a furnace. Altogether they are referred to as glass feedstock and mainly comprise silica, calcium oxide, limestone, and glass cullet. The furnace heats the glass feedstock at temperatures above 1000°C until it becomes molten glass.

The next step is known as the blowing stage where the molten glass is molded. There are two methods:

  • Press and blow
  • Blow and blow

In ‘press and blow’, the molten glass is put into parison molds. A plunger then pushes down on it to ensure that it fits the mold and takes on its shape. This blank shape is then moved to the second mold where air is blown into it to define its shape further. In the “blow and blow” method, no plunger is used. Both molding steps involve air being blown into the parison mold to push the molten glass to shape.

After the molding stage, the wine bottles are treated and left to cool. They are then annealed to relieve any stress in their form and enhance durability. Lastly, quality checks are performed to ensure all bottles have no leaks or cracks and are safe for packaging.

Choosing Wine Bottle Sizes

Different sizes of wine bottles
Source: Pixabay

When it comes to choosing the right wine bottle sizes, it would be prudent to consider the needs of consumers. People buy wine for different occasions which call for different volumes. For a party, for example, it may be more convenient to buy a few large bottles than an entire case of standard bottles.

The type of wine you are bottling equally plays a role in this decision. Varieties like ice wine which are drunk in one sitting can be served in small bottles. In contrast, due to the chance of oxidation and spoilage, wines intended for aging may require bigger bottles.

The different wine bottle sizes include:

Wine Splits

The dimensions of wine split are 2″ in diameter and 187.5 ml in volume, which is the equivalent of one wine serving. Wine splits are the smallest among all wine bottles. They are also known as ‘Piccolo’ which is Italian for small.

Piccolo bottles are preferred for champagne as well as Port and ice wine. They vary in design depending on the winery but they are mostly miniature versions of bigger bottles and have short necks.

Small wine bottles with straws tied to them
Source: Pixabay
Small wine bottle next to a glass with white flowers
Source: Pixabay

Demi

Another name for this size is ‘Half’ given as it has a volume of 375 ml which is half of a standard wine bottle. It measures between 2 ¼” to 2 ⅜” depending on the country. You will get about 2 and a half glasses of wine from a Demi bottle.

Given their dainty size, Demi bottles are often preferred for tastings and for gifting purposes. Half wine bottles are easily available from online platforms and are unlikely to require any custom orders.

Standard

The standard 750 ml wine bottle size is the most common in the market. Depending on the type of wine, the diameters of these bottles differ slightly. Cabernets, Bordeaux, and champagnes range between 2 ⅞” to 3 ⅜”. Burgundy bottles are typically narrower with a maximum diameter of 3 ¼” while Pinot Noirs can go up to 3 ½” of diameter.

There are about 5 glasses of wine in this bottle size. It may be best to buy standard bottle sizes from a wine bottle manufacturer so as to get your preferred dimensions right.

Standard size bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon
Source: Pixabay
Magnum size wine bottle next to a wine glass
Source: Pinterest

Magnum Wine Bottles

There are three types of magnum bottles; Turley, Big Champagne, and Magnum. They all have a capacity of 1.5 liters and a diameter of approximately 3 6/9″ to 4″. However, they vary in terms of shape and use.

The Turley bottle has a short stout body and a long neck while the Big Champagne’s body is also stout but longer. The Magnum bottle has a tall straight body and a distinct neck. When it comes to buying, the 1.5-liter wine bottles may require a custom order.

Choosing Wine Bottle Colors

Colorful wine bottles
Source: Pixabay

Red, White, or Rośe? That is the fundamental question when choosing the color of wine bottles to use. Red wine is sensitive to light and therefore requires tinted bottles that can shield it from degradation by light. Rośe and white wines are less sensitive and can cope with flint glass bottles.

Bottle color plays a role in aesthetics and branding too. If you would like to set your wine apart, choose more distinct colors that are not commonly used. Color can also be used to differentiate types of wine. For instance, you can designate green for Riesling wine and yellow for Chardonnay.

You can consider colors such as:

Blue Wine Bottles

The most prevalent shade of blue that is used is cobalt. It is radiant and naturally draws the eye and can be great if you would like your wine to stand out. That said, it may not be suitable for all kinds of wine. Blue, for all its beauty, is less effective in shielding light compared to other colors. Still, you could buy blue wine bottles for lighter fun wines such as Sherry or Madeira that tolerate light well.

Blue wine bottle
Source: Pinterest
A red bottle of strawberry wine next to a bowl of strawberries
Source: Pinterest

Red Wine Bottles

The use of red is quite rare perhaps due to how striking it is. Nevertheless, it can still be a great way to make a statement in the wine market. Compare different shades of red bottles for sale to decide which would fit your desired look. Lighter shades of red like pink, for instance, can be used for Sherry and Rośe bottles. It gives them a fun look and distinguishes them from the more complex wines like Pinot Noir. 

Green Wine Bottles

Green wine bottles are arguably the most popular when it comes to storing all kinds of wine including the sparkling variety. Its light-barring capabilities make it a favorite for preservation purposes. Wines can be bottled and distributed in green bottles without the risk of their quality being diminished. 

There are different shades of green used for different bottles. The lighter ones such as dead-leaf green are preferred for white wines. The more opaque darker tints like champagne and antique green are used for red wines.

Green wine bottles with blue labels
Source: Pixabay
Transparent bottle of wine next to baguettes
Source: Pixabay

Clear Wine Bottles

Transparent bottles are also referred to as flint bottles. They offer no light protection but are good for the display that they offer. Consumers are able to see right through to the wine, which is alluring in its own way. For some, seeing the hue is useful when deciding which bottle to take home.

Fruity white wines and Rośe carry well in clear wine bottles. Red wines, despite their delectable hues, can not survive the glaring transparency of flint bottles.

Black Wine Bottles

If you are aiming for a classy sophisticated look for your wine, black is certainly an option worth considering. You could opt for black bottles with a reflective sheen or a more dull rustic looking bottle. Either way, this is one color that does not disappoint. Moreover, Sauvignon Blańcs, Pinot Noirs, and other types of red wine will remain intact should you choose to use black wine bottles. In fact, it is red wines that are more often cloaked in them.

Black bottles of wine
Source: Pixabay
A purple bottle of wine
Source: ramoncanals.com

Purple Wine Bottles

Choosing purple wine bottles would undoubtedly be an eclectic decision. It is hardly ever used in the wine industry. Nonetheless, it is the color of royalty and you can seldom go wrong with it if you choose the right shade. Darker tints, for example, may offer a more charming look.

How much opacity your manufacturer can achieve with this color will determine which kind of wine you can use it for. That said, sparkling and white wines are recommendable.

White Wine Bottles

White-colored bottles are rare and even more so in the wine aisle. Still, it is always a good idea to distinguish your brand, and using white bottles might just be the way to do that. With delightful customized labeling, they would certainly look elegant at any dinner table.

When it comes to light, white is highly reflective but may not offer enough opacity for red wines. Consider using white wine bottles for dessert wines and fruity white varieties. 

white colored wine bottle
Source: Alibaba
Amber colored bottle of wine next to a plate of food
Source: Pixabay

Amber Wine Bottles

When it comes to photosensitivity, few colors can offer the shield that amber does. It is for this reason that amber bottles are used in many industries including the bottling of alcoholic beverages. You will have an easy time finding a supplier given as most glass bottle manufacturers make them.

Nothing is more reminiscent of wine than the tint of amber on an elegant bottle. All kinds of wine are agreeable to amber bottles but red wine may be more apropos.

Different Shapes and Designs of Wine Bottles

In decades past, the shape of a wine bottle was determined by factors like whether it could be stored and transported safely. While both of these concerns still remain relevant, modern sealing technology has made them less of a problem. However, they still influence the designs of wine bottles today.

From a retail perspective, it is advisable to go for an appealing design. Endeavor to find a way to accommodate varying preferences too. While wine enthusiasts take pride in traditional details such as punts, more hip consumers may appreciate some creative design concepts

There are 4 main shapes of wine bottles.

Burgundy Wine Bottles

Dark-colored wine bottle next to a glass of wine
Source: Pixabay

The Burgundy bottle shape is characterized by low gently sloping shoulders that expose its neck. It tends to be slightly more rounded below the shoulders and usually has a punt. In terms of color, dead-leaf green is most common with the Burgundy style. Nonetheless, it can look just as elegant in other colors.

Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays are staples with this bottle style but other wines are increasingly being bottled in it too. They include Chenin Blańc, Syrah, among others. Over time the list may grow longer as wine traditions evolve. With regard to size, Burgundy bottles can be made in both larger and smaller sizes and still maintain their appeal.

If you opt to use Burgundy bottles, be advised that they are not stackable for storage. The shape of their body makes it impossible. It is an important detail to consider as you purchase this shape of bottles; it will affect how you store and transport them.

On the upside, there are more creative designs of wine racks in the market which could solve the storage end of the problem. You could also consider working with your glass bottle manufacturer to modify the design.

Claret Wine Bottles

Claret shape bottles of red wine
Source: Pixabay

This is one of the oldest bottle shapes in the wine business and is also known as Bordeaux. Its history dates back to the 1700s with its design being linked to Pierre Mitchell who was a glass bottle maker. Claret wine bottles, like most other wine-related trends, originate from France which is also the heart of Bordeaux wine.

A Claret bottle has prominent high shoulders and a straight body with a punt at the bottom. It is used to bottle rich wines like Rioja, Merlot, and Barolo which are stored for aging.

Almost every detail of the Bordeaux wine bottle shape is significant. The shoulders are specifically designed to allow for easy horizontally stacked storage. In addition, they keep the sediment that settles over time from reaching the cork. The punt also helps to keep the sediment at the bottom of the bottle when it is in an upright position.

The type of wine you intend to bottle will influence whether the Claret shape is a must-have or not. Further, in markets such as Europe, the size of this particular shape is standardized to 750 ml. If you hoped to use larger or smaller bottles, you may need to factor that into your decision.

Hock Wine Bottles

A hock design dark-colored bottle of Libelle wine
Source: Pixabay

Depending on the region, Hock wine bottles are also known as Rhine or Alsace bottles. The Rhine is a river in Europe that flows from Switzerland to Germany. Alsace is a region in France located on the plains of the Rhine. The proximity of these regions led to them sharing wine cultures.

Hock bottles have a long flute-like neck which slopes down to a straight slender body. Compared to other wine bottle designs, it is one of the most dynamic in terms of shape interpretations and modifications. For instance, in some regions, the 750 ml is made taller than the standard 330mm. It is also the most common bottle used for colored designs. There are hock bottles in amber, green, blue, and flint among others.

Riesling, dessert, and ice wines are some of the wines that tend to get bottled in Rhine bottles. When considering this shape, it should probably be for similarly light wines. You may also need to consider what measurements fit your preferences and those of your target market. For easier handling, consider dimensions that would be easy to stack, transport, and display in stores.

Specialty Wine Bottles

Different size bottles of Moet Champagne
Source: Pixabay

As their name suggests, these kinds of bottles are designed for specific needs. Due to this, they may deviate from conventional bottle shapes and standards. Some Riesling bottles are considered specialty designs. Miniature wine bottles like those used for ice wines also fall in this category.

The champagne bottle is a specialty design whose shape looks a lot like a Burgundy bottle but it is thicker and heavier. Given as champagne and sparkling wine are fizzy drinks, pressure builds in their bottles with any movement or temperature changes. For this reason, it is important that the bottle is tough enough to resist the force of the gas. It also requires a special closure and thus the neck and the finish need to be specifically designed to accommodate it. 

The structures of specialty bottles borrow heavily from the shapes of other wine bottles. The punt, for example, is used by champagne brands to allow for easier settling of fermentation sediment

Specialty bottles are bespoke and thus they are likely to cost you more than other regular designs. Consider if you really need them or whether other bottles could do. It could save you money.

Types of Wine Bottle Closures

Types of Wine Bottle Closures
Source: Pinterest

Closures refer to different kinds of seals and tops that close a wine bottle. The type of closure you choose is largely influenced by the type of bottle you are hoping to seal. The wine to be bottled also plays a role in the picking of a closure method.

It is vital that the closure is a right fit. If too much air gets into the bottle, the wine could become rancid. Poor-fitting could also result in leakage of the wine during transport and handling. A good closure method should also have tamper-proof features that are noticeable when the bottle has been interfered with.

Closure options include:

Screw Top Caps

Green wine bottles with golden screw top caps
Source: Pixabay

Screw top caps are cylindrical tops that are often made of either aluminum or in some instances, plastic. For you to be able to use these wine bottle closures the finish of the bottles needs to be the right for them. A continuous thread finish, in particular, is recommended to make opening and closing the bottle smooth and easy. 

Most vintners steered clear of screw-top caps in the past because they were associated with cheap wine. Plus, unlike corks, they do not allow for seeping of oxygen into wine bottles yet it is considered essential for aging. However, the tide is slowly turning and more winemakers are increasingly using screw-top caps.

If you choose this closure method, there are benefits such as:

  • They allow the wine to be resealed an enjoyed on another occasion
  • Lower costs compared to other methods
  • Shrink bands can be added on top of them for tamper-proofing

ROPE/ROPP Cap

Wine bottles with different colors of ROPP wine bottle closures
Source: Pixabay

Roll-on Pilfer Evident caps are also known as Roll-on Pilfer Proof caps. They are mostly made of aluminum. As the names allude, these closures are tamper-evident once opened. They would be a great choice for markets that are notorious for counterfeiting. 

The bottles you choose need to have a ROPE finish for this closure to be suitable. Threading is necessary on the finish to facilitate the movement of the cap when it is being screwed on and off. You would also need a ROPE capping machine to ensure that the closure is properly fitted.

There are many advantages to ROPE caps. Other than their safety feature, they come in many colors to complement most bottles and branding needs. Wine bottles with this closure can also be resealed for later. On the downside, ROPP caps have been found to have a tamp-down effect on aromas for some wines. 

Standard Wine Bottle Corks

An collection of wine corks
Source: Pixabay

Cork wine closures are possibly the oldest in the business and also the most revered by wine connoisseurs. Traditional natural corks are sourced from Quercus suber oak trees which grow mostly in North Africa and Portugal. Alternatively, there are synthetic cork and technical wine corks. Both are innovations that are more easily accessible than natural corks.

Wine bottles need a cork finish for these closures to be used on them. The important part of the finish is the size; it needs to allow insertion of the cork and to hold it in place. There are three standard cork sizes 7, 8, and 9. The size of the neck finish will determine which standard size you can use.

The main trait that wine experts and favor corks for is their breathability which allows for oxidation. They are also unlikely to interfere with flavor or aroma.

Other Important Factors to Consider

Understanding the size, color, and shape of bottles will help you make the right choice when buying bottles. However, there are other salient but crucial factors that you would do well to consider.

Price

In the wine business, bottles are a recurring need which means you will incur costs for them regularly. For this reason, it would serve you well to get bargain prices right from the beginning. Negotiate as much as possible with your supplier and hedge on the fact that you will be a repeat customer. Buying directly from manufacturers that offer wholesale rates is often more affordable.

Stacks of coins next to a calculator
Source: Pexels
A hand writing
Source: Pexels

Quality

The quality of bottles is both an aesthetic and functional consideration. All the features of the bottle need to be alluring such that they whet appetites. On the other hand, smooth finishes for closures and durability of the glass are equally crucial. Insist on the best quality possible.

Where to Buy Wholesale Bottles in Bulk

Finding the right wine bottle supplier that can meet your design needs can be tricky. Moreover, not all suppliers can supply in bulk and at a wholesale price. 

Consider contacting experienced wine glass bottle manufacturers as opposed to buying from retailers. A good manufacturer should have the capacity to execute custom designs and deliver large orders in record time. They should also be able to offer you wholesale prices and additional services like after-sale support.

A person handing out a bank card to a cashier
Source: Pexels

Conclusion

Given the significance of wine bottles in wine-making, buying them can feel like a daunting task. Add to that all the variables involved and it is understandable to feel overwhelmed. However, now that you know what to look for and where to find it, it ought to be much easier. 

For high-quality wine bottles visit our website and browse through our extensive selection of glass wine bottles to choose the one that is right for your business.

Perfect elaboration

Jasbir Dhaliwal says:
Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview, your comment will be visible after it has been approved.

we got this interest in buying a continuous quantity of glass bottles for alcohol products.

The interest is for:

Item 1
200 ml Flask bottle for screw caps (alluminium)

Item 2
950 or 1000 ml Cristal Bottle optional plastic/cork cap or alluminium screw cap (machine)

Please find some pictures attached.

There would be also some possibilities on 600ml beer bottles (dark colour: amber, green, brown, black)

The volume of interest is about 1 fcl 20′ each item approximately each 3 months (90 days). If possible to mix up the container with these items, it will be better.

Quality: light cristal, cheap product

Shipment: prompt

Payment: 30% advanced and balance against B/L or L/C through first level bank in Uruguay

In case of possibility to offer, please quote:

1. In USDOL (American dollar) per unit, indicating logistics, shipment type (bulk or pallets), quantities per container
2. Please include if it would be possible to include an agent’s commission in case customer decides to import directly
3. Delivery port: Montevideo, Uruguay, final destination the same country

We await your news. Thanks in advance and

Best regards,

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