Bottles: History

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Today it may be taken for granted that wine bottles of different colours and shapes will hold a precise capacity. Nor is it questioned that a paper label will be firmly fixed to the bottle to give a plethora of information, much of it required by law. These are recent developments.

In classical antiquity wine was stored and transported in large, long jars called amphorae. They varied considerably in size but it would certainly be difficult to pour a drinking quantity from such an awkward and big vessel, without using some sort of intermediate container. The Romans invented the technique of blowing glass bottles and some of these may well have been used to serve wine.