Wine Bottle Dimple Theory

Is it true that there's a relationship between the depth of a dimple in the bottom of a wine bottle, and the quality of the wine inside the bottle? Does a deeper dimple mean better wine? Australian wine expert Martin Field says that this is just a myth. But Itchy Squirrel (don't know his real name) decided to test the dimple-wine-quality theory for himself. Armed with a depth gauge he went to his local supermarket and recorded the price of a sample of wines as well as the depth of their dimples. He discovered that there was a rough correlation between dimple depth and price. Of course, his sample size isn't large enough to be definitive, but this is an experiment anyone can do on their own. I know that I'm now going to be keeping an eye out for dimple depth. I drink a lot of two-buck chuck, which is okay as an everyday table wine, but it has hardly any dimple at all. So it does fit the theory.


Posted on Mon Dec 13, 2004


All that was proven that dimple length is correlated with PRICE (and thus the dimple length gives you no useful information as you presumably already know the price). Now, if the dimple length was actually correlated to quality independent of price you might have useful information.
Posted by Floormaster Squeeze  on  Mon Dec 13, 2004  at  01:20 PM
True. Someone can put crappy wine in an expensive bottle. Still, like the guy said, it can be useful info if you receive a bottle of wine as a present. Gives you some idea just how generous the present was.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Mon Dec 13, 2004  at  01:26 PM
when one takes into acount that the deeper the dimple the mosre expensive and presumably better the wine one must factor in that proportionally on is getting LESS wine therefore paying yet more for it.
I once had a bottle with a six inch dimplke. Now that was a bottle of wine I can tell you.
Just yesterday I went to my local wine store run bu a minor goodfellow in Little Italy New York with a small tape measure and note pad to test the theory.
After fifteen minutes into my project and fifteen minutes of being stared at by Joey 'Fist' Barbalonni my involvement came to a sudden end.
I am writing this from New York Hospital where they have kindly provided me with a net access.
Posted by pepe nero  on  Mon Dec 13, 2004  at  01:34 PM
When I was 10, I stuck my mouth under the spigot on a box of White Zin...I didn't really realize what it was. A friend of mine grew up on a vineyard & her parents sent me a $45 bottle of wine as a gift. I couldn't tell the difference between the bottle & the box...I'm not that educated about it all I guess. I stick to coke 'n' stout.
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Mon Dec 13, 2004  at  02:15 PM
Oh...P.S. Doesn't the dimple have something to do with how it's stored?
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Mon Dec 13, 2004  at  02:16 PM
I went wine tasting a local vinyard a couple years ago and the guide there told us the reason for the dimples on the bottom of some bottles:

She said that for some wines the bottles should be rotated ever so often so that sediment doesn't build up on one side of the bottle, because it somehow affects the wine. When you have a whole bunch of bottles in storage laid down horizontally the dimples on the bottom of the bottles help someone turn them. Makes sense to me.
Posted by Brian  on  Mon Dec 13, 2004  at  04:54 PM
This rumor is obviously being spread by somebody who's retailing a brand of wine with a huge dimple in the bottle. If it persists long, you can bet almost every wine will soon come with an enormous cavity on the bottom.
Posted by Big Gary C  in  Dallas, Texas  on  Mon Dec 13, 2004  at  06:02 PM
the bigger the dimple, the less wine there is
Posted by John  on  Mon Dec 13, 2004  at  07:50 PM
Surely if the dimple is bigger then the bottle would have to be bigger in some other part. As I recall the volume of wine is displayed on the label so the "loss of wine caused by the dimple" would have to be made up by making the bottle bigger (or taller) so as to allow for the amount of volume stated on the label

Not that I drink a lot of wine but I do notice the difference between the "cheap plonk" and the more expensive stuff (depending on the brand that is)
Posted by Peter  in  Melboune, Australia  on  Mon Dec 13, 2004  at  10:02 PM
I thought the topic of dimpled bottoms was daft enough - but I thank BigGary for bringing enormous cavities into it too...

Incidentally, given the prevalence of this belief and the way marketers think I wouldn't be surprised if any correlation between dimple depth and price were at least partly due to the belief itself. I was told by one friend of mine that whether or not a whisky bottle has a cork seal is a reliable indicator of quality. This led him to buy the worst bottle of alleged I've ever tasted - presumably because the marketing department at that distillery had heard the same rumour...
Posted by Paul in Prague  on  Tue Dec 14, 2004  at  08:57 AM
I used to think that wine with a natural cork in the bottle was usually better than that with a synthetic cork, but I have lately read some articles indicating that the synthetic corks make a much better seal and are not subject to decay as natural ones are. According to one source, some very good vinyards in California have started using the synthetic ones-- but they still have the problem of convincing customers the wine inside is OK.
Posted by Big Gary C  in  Dallas, Texas  on  Tue Dec 14, 2004  at  12:48 PM
Years ago, there was a rumor that the number of stripes in the lining of a necktie was an indication of the quality of the tie. Predictably, soon almost every tie had a whole bunch of stripes in the lining material.

I think this belief must have died out by now: the last couple of ties I looked at had no stripes in the lining.
Posted by Big Gary C  in  Dallas, Texas  on  Tue Dec 14, 2004  at  12:50 PM
Ya know, it's called a "kick" not a dimple. Golf balls have dimples.
It is there to give the bottle structural rigidity. Or, rather, it *was* there for that purpose a long time ago. Today it is mostly tradition, I think, although a bottle certainly needs some kind of raised bottom, or else it won't sit flat on a table if there is even a single grain of salt or other debris on the table.
If I wasn't so busy I would dig up some links, but lacking that I can point you to the "Dictionary of Misinformation" which I think had something about this in it.
Posted by John.  on  Tue Dec 14, 2004  at  02:42 PM
I buy wine components for a very large winery in California. The
Posted by Dave D.  in  California  on  Tue Dec 14, 2004  at  02:50 PM
You say punt, he says kick
I say indentation
& I don't believe it's depth
is cause for celebration
Posted by pepe  in  New York  on  Tue Dec 14, 2004  at  09:24 PM
most probably the indentation was there to make the bottom of the bottle stronger in the days when many wines continued to ferment after being bottled.
Home made beer is well know to explode after being bottled for that very reason.
The specullation that such unknowns produce is entertaining and give just a bit of extra flavoe to life.
When I was a kid I thought that the indentation was there because the company was trying to cheat on the wine content. Even then I was paranoid.
Posted by pepe  in  New York  on  Tue Dec 14, 2004  at  09:31 PM
So now we have 'a kick in the bottom' too? Jeez, it must be a laugh-a-minute in the wine industry...
Posted by Paul in Prague  on  Wed Dec 15, 2004  at  02:57 AM
Your dimple theory sound good. As we all know each area has a different name for the dimple. Also, there is always someone or something that goes against everyones thoughts and beliefs. In this case Christal Champagne is the one. It is a great Champagne, it sells for over $200 a bottle and it has no dimple. It is flat on the bottom. So the bigger the dimple does not mean the better the wine, just as a more expensive wine does not mean it is a better wine.
Posted by Bill  in  Tracy Cal.  on  Thu Sep 01, 2005  at  01:24 AM
Wine people call them punts (and sometimes kick-ups).
Wine experts can
Posted by Tera  in  Waialua, hawaii  on  Thu Jan 12, 2006  at  05:33 PM
I have no idea but we had a great after dinner conversation about the many reasons why.
Posted by Julie  in  Noble Park, Victoria, Australia  on  Mon Jan 26, 2009  at  02:43 AM
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