A dimple in the bottom of a wine bottle is known as a ‘punt’. There have been numerous reasons offered explaning how the use of punts came about:
1. The angle of a punt allows sediment in a wine bottle to settle down into a tight space around the base, preventing the sediment from being disturbed and released back into the wine as it is poured into a glass.
2. A punt makes it easier to hold a wine bottle – as well as pour from it – with one hand: One holds the wine bottle from the base, placing the thumb into the middle of the punt, and firmly gripping the back side of the bottle with the remaining four fingers.
3. Punts create a stable surface on which to stand a wine bottle. Historically, when flat-bottomed bottles were hand-blown or produced with early casts, they would sometimes result in deformities or bumps on the bottom – which would prevent the bottle from standing up straight, and make it prone to tip over. With the use of a punt, wine bottles could have a stable, circular base on which to stand – and any deformities found in the center of the base would be ‘pushed’ up into the punt, where they would be hidden from view, as well as prevented from upsetting the bottle.
4. Punts add strength to the base of larger bottles, especially champagne-style bottles which hold wine under pressure. A solid, thicker base, with greater surface area with which to handle the force from the wine, ensures the bottle will not burst from the pressure.
5. Punts add style and flair to a bottle’s design. The punt adds a sleek rounded shape to the overall composition of the bottle.
Punts do appear to serve many purposes. Perhaps most importantly, they stand out in your mind, and make you curious to learn more about them, which is why you chose to read this article!