Geek Speak

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PUNT /punt/ n.

"Punt" is the trade term for the indentation at the bottom of a wine bottle. A l s o called a kick-up, its actual purpose is a subject of ongoing debate among oenophiles. There’s any number of theories: depending on who you ask, a punt’s purpose is to snag sediment, bend light for shelf appeal, create volumetric deception to convince consumers they’re getting more wine or simply stabilize the bottle on the table. Others attribute a practical purpose: to notch onto pegs fitted on bars and bottling lines to hold bottles in place—leaving one to wonder which came first, the kick-up or the peg. The most likely story, however, is that it’s a matter of nostalgia, a residual homage to the dimple inevitably created when bottles were hand blown.

Published on October 1, 2010