Saturday, July 11, 2015

Really Fun Trivia - A Great Gem for Local Public Officials

Many times local government and public officials are invited to community gatherings or social events as well as conferences and recognition programs where a meal and wine is served.  Personally I am not a big wine drinker.  A few of the public officials I worked with over all those years I was in local government could have been classified wine connoisseurs and many did enjoy a good glass of wine on occasion. 

So I thought I would share some really great trivia I recently learned from a colleague – Eba Gee, an expert on hospitality matters.  You might find this information useful and who knows, it might be something you can bring up to start a fun conversation when you are at a loss for words.   
The next time you enter a liquor store take a moment to look at the bottoms of the various wine bottles on the shelves. You’ll likely notice some of the bottles have indentations in their bottoms.  This inward dimple is officially called "The Punt" by Europeans; most American wine distributors refer to it as "the kick-up".  According to my friend Eba Gee, there is no one universal reason for "The Punt" in the bottom of a wine bottle but the explanations Eba shared are both bizarre and fascinating.

After reading Eba’s explanations, I think you will look at wine bottles differently.

      1)     Punts are carryovers from when wine bottles were hand blown. Glass blowers always pushed in the bottom of the bottle so when they removed their blow pipes no scars were left on the bottom and the bottom on the bottle would never scratch a table’s surface.
       2)     Punts actually make wine bottles less tipsy. A flat bottom wine bottle only needs a slight nudge on a dinner table to be unstable; however, a punt provides stability should the bottle be accidentally bumped by a diner guest.
      3)     Punts help consolidate any sediment in the bottom of the bottle and prevent it from being poured out into a glass.  (Years ago wines had a big problem with sediment; however, modern vintners now use filters and there is very little sediment in the wine sold today.)
      4)     Punts increase the strength of the bottle, allowing it to easily hold the high pressure of sparkling wines, champagnes and a variety of wines that are left to ferment in the bottle.
5)     Punts take up room in the bottle which allows a bottle
to appear larger, yet hold a lesser amount of wine.
6)     Punts prevent wine bottles from shattering should they be dropped or fall to the floor.
7)     Prior to the invention of cardboard and wooden boxes, wine bottles were typically laid on their sides in a line in the cargo holds of ships. The punt allowed one bottle’s neck to fit nicely in the base of another bottle, thus preventing the wine bottles from rolling around and also to be to stacked row upon row to the ceiling of the cargo hold.  
8)     Punts provide a convenient place for a Sommeliers’ (a term for a high class wine steward) thumb which makes it easier for the server to accurately pour wine into a glass.
9)     Punts make it easier for vintners to clean wine bottles prior to filling them with wine.  When a stream of hot water is injected into a bottle, it will hit the punt and be deflected back throughout the entire bottle more forcefully which cleans the bottles quicker.
10)  Connoisseurs of fine wines all insist “Punts make the wine taste better”.
Hope you found this wine bottle trivia of interest; I know I did.  If you know of any other reasons for a Punt in a wine bottle, will you let know and I will pass it on to Eba Gee. It you want more great trivia about liquor or the hospitality industry, visit Eba at .  Eba Gabe says hi.