Vol. 1, No. 8, March 8, 1999
© Copyright 1999 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved.
Wine trivia: What (and why) is a Punt?
Pick up a wine bottle sometime and take a close look at the bottom. Chances are (unless you've chosen a particularly inexpensive wine) that you'll find a deep, conical indentation rather than a flat surface.
This dent is called a "punt" in English (just like the kick on fourth down in American football). An obscure word, unknown even to many wine enthusiasts, its origins are lost in history. But here are a few theories:
1. In the early days of modern bottle making, glass blowers learned that a deep indentation made the bottle sturdier.
2. Or, a somewhat similar explanation, the mechanism that glass blowers used to hold the bottle while it was being made left this indentation when the job was done.
3. Bottles were made this way intentionally so the sharp crease around the conical shape would form a crevice where the wine's sediment could collect and solidify.
4. Finally, if you're a cynic, you may suspect that the indentation serves the same purpose as the cardboard packaging inside a candy bar wrapper: It makes the bottle look like it has more wine in it than it really does!
Take your pick; I don't think anyone knows the answer with absolute certainty. And if you've got another theory -- or, better still, a factual or historical reference point, please let me know!
Chateau Vieux Robin 1995 Cru Bourgeois Médoc ($14.99)
FOOD MATCH: Just right with the traditional Bordeaux match: Lamb chops.
You are on the subscription list because our records indicate that you registered for it during a visit to Robin Garr's Wine Lovers' Page. If for any reason you don't want to receive this publication, simply send E-mail to 'email@example.com' and we'll remove your name from the list.
If your E-mail program is having trouble handling the images in this edition, feel free to request that we switch you from the HTML to TEXT edition ... or vice versa. We also welcome feedback, suggestions, and ideas for future columns. Send us E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All the wine-tasting reports posted here are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I purchase all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores and accept no samples, gifts or other gratuities from the wine industry.
If you'd like to talk about wine online with fellow wine enthusiasts around the world, we'd be delighted to have you visit the interactive forums in our Wine Lovers' Discussion Group. If you're from another part of the world and don't feel entirely comfortable chatting in English, visit our International Forum and introduce yourself in the language of your choice.
The 30 Second Wine Advisor Home Page
Talk about wine | Ask wine question | Wine Lovers' Page