Wine Curiosity

French bottles: Bordeaux, Burgonet & Alsatian

Dear readers,
Today, after having told you the story of the Albeisa bottle, I’m going on with the French bottles: the Bordeaux, the Burgonet and the Alsatian.


The Bordeaux is probably the most used ever, both for red and white wine: originally from Bordeaux, has very pronounced shoulder which comes in handy to hinder the escape of any deposits when pouring the wine, especially if the wine aged a long time inside the bottle.

There is also the “high shoulder” version, in a narrower and longer size. It is also called the “Bordeaux Goliath” and is used for the most valuable white and red.

bordolese-a-spalla-alta

For the white wines, the Bordeaux is almost always transparent in color, while the red is mostly dark green or brown. Unfortunately, the transparent glass for white wines is absolutely not the most suitable color, in fact, the white wine is more delicate and sensitive to light and should be stored in bottles of a dark color.


The Burgonet is a native of Burgundy, the famous area for its greatest Pinot Noirs. Very similar to the Albeisa, it differs in the least shoulder pronouncement.

It is made of good thickness and is transparent in color for white wines and green or brown for red wines. For its weight and its ease of storage, Burgonet has spread all around the world, becoming a kind of bottle widely used especially for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, the two most representative wines of Burgundy.


The Rhine bottle, originally from the Rhine area, is often green in color (for wines from the Mosel) or brown, and it is used for white wines from Germany and many other areas of the world. Its main feature is the lack of the shoulder.

bottiglia-renana_Thewinelifestyle

In Alsace this bottle is called the Alsatian and differs slightly in shape. It is often colored green or brown.

breganzeA curious anecdote concerns the challenge between the wines of Bordeaux and Alsace: it is said the Alsatians went proud of their bottles without shoulder, as their red wines did not form sediments, making it qualitatively more clear than those of Bordeaux. However, we must remember in Alsace white wines are the majority, about 82% of total production, and red wines of Alsace are obtained predominantly from Pinot Noir grapes, which generally produces less sediment in the bottle compared to a Cabernet or a Merlot.

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5 thoughts on “French bottles: Bordeaux, Burgonet & Alsatian

  1. Well, it’s always good to get some hint what’s in the bottle without having to read the label… 🙂 I might add that in Alsace, I’ve often heard the Rhine bottle referred to as a “flûte”. If you want to mention some really odd bottles that are still “French regional standard” in a future post, you could have a look at Jura and the 62 cl clavicle used for their vin jaune, and the similar-shaped bottles used for other Jura wines.

  2. Pingback: French bottles: Bordeaux, Burgonet & Alsatian | Paris Wine Bar Restaurant Reviews - parisuncorked

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