If you look at wine bottles, you will notice a little depression at the bottom end of each bottle. It varies in depth depending on bottle types, and you may be wondering what purpose this little dent on a wine bottle serves. This depression is what is commonly called a punt.
A punt is defined as the concave bottom on bottles of the better wines. Some say bottles were constructed this way to provide better stability to the wine, while others say it is used to gather wine sediments during the fermentation process. Both actually make sense when you try rocking a wine bottle – the ones with punts actually are more stable and gather sediments more efficiently.
Now regarding the collection of sediments, true enough, the few wines that have sediments successfully collect these along the rings at the bottom of these concaves, and it will take extra care or talent when pouring the wine to keep the sediments down.
Some also say that the punt helps the sommeliers or expert wine servers pour the wine quite appropriately. The punt provides an area where they can position the thumb securely while pouring wine with the bottom resting on their palm.
There is also another theory that the punt adds strength to the bottle and makes it more stable on uneven surfaces. Punts also allow bottles to be stacked neck in punt, which is really a prevalent storage practice in the Champagne region.
Whatever the real reason is for the existence of the punt in wine bottles seems to have gotten lost in time. There used to be a belief that the deeper the punt, the better and more expensive is the wine. But it doesn’t seem quite true in cases nowadays. Nearly all wine bottles come with punts and they’re now used for marketing purposes. A wine bottle with a punt will appear to have more contents and actually makes the overall look more attractive. And if people continue to believe that good wines come in bottles with punts, I’d make sure all my wines are bottled that way if I were a wine manufacturer!