Made to Last – 5500 Years

3500 BC was a busy time with inventions such as the wheel, the first known writing and even the first zoo! I do not know about you, but I love to collect vintage items that were a part of the everyday. This includes vintage Pez dispensers (I faithfully carried one around as a kid) to 70 year old Champagne bottles, the contents long ago spent. The items are a reminder that sometimes old ways are still best. The wine bottle being no exception. A vessel perfect to present and preserve the glorious juice within.

The history of wine bottles dates back to ancient civilizations, with the first known bottles appearing in the ancient Near East around 3500 BC. These early bottles were made of clay and used to store wine for long periods of time.

As the Roman Empire expanded, so did the production and trade of wine. The Romans were known for their sophisticated wine storage and transportation methods, which included the use of glass bottles.

The first glass wine bottles were likely produced in the Roman Empire in the 1st century AD. These bottles were made by blowing glass into a mold and were used to store wine for both domestic and export purposes.

In the Middle Ages, wine bottles were often sealed with wax or pitch to prevent spoilage and tampering. The use of cork to seal wine bottles became more common in the 17th century, and it remains the most widely used method for sealing wine bottles today.

The shape and size of wine bottles have evolved over the centuries to meet the needs of winemakers and consumers. In the 18th and 19th centuries, wine bottles were often hand-blown and came in a variety of shapes and sizes. In the 20th century, the production of wine bottles became more standardized, with most bottles being made using machines and coming in a few standard sizes.

Today, wine bottles come in a range of sizes and shapes, including the classic 750 mL “Bordeaux” bottle, the 1.5 liter “Magnum,” and the 3 liter “Jeroboam.” The shape and size of the bottle can often indicate the type of wine it contains, with certain shapes and sizes being more commonly associated with certain types of wine.

From the early clay bottles of the ancient Near East to the standardized glass bottles of today, the wine bottle has played an important role in the storage, transportation, and enjoyment of wine.

~ Trina Plamondon is a BIPOC female, wine consultant, and the founder of Boutèy, a Canadian glass wine bottle supplier. You can learn more about the business, a circular economy and how to get involved at:

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