Dear Kid,

Once upon a time, Mrs. Joe Neanderthal decided to throw a Fancy Dinner Party. While she cooked a large Rump of Mammoth, she sent Joe down to the corner to buy a couple of bottles of a nice wine.

The Complete and Total History of Wine Bottles...More or Less. DearKidLoveMom.comUnfortunately, Joe couldn’t count up to “a couple” and returned home with only one bottle. Mrs. J. N. immediately sent him out for more. Joe immediately decided that getting ready for a Fancy Dinner Party was not his idea of Fun and he spent the rest of the day at the pub, drinking beer with the guys. When he finally staggered home, Mrs. Joe clonked him on the head with the wine bottle to express her concern for his misspent afternoon.

After that, the history of wine bottles is a little murky owing to the bodily risks of preparing for a party involving alcohol.

Eventually (and by “eventually” I mean a really, really long time ago), glass was invented (primarily so that people could throw stones, but also to make bottles). At first glass bottles were très brittle, but then people discovered that they could make thicker bottles by super-heating the glass.

Glass bottles were blown round (because that was easiest) and were blown to exactly one lungful of the glassblower’s air. Which meant every bottle was its own size. (In England, it was illegal to sell wine by the bottle because of the inconsistencies in size. Wine had to be sold by the barrel, after which it could be decanted into bottles. It wasn’t until 1860 that the law was changed.)

Not only weren’t bottles standard, they were round. (NOTE: Round bottles roll. Generally off the table.) Since most wine makers preferred to keep their wine inside its container rather than having it decorate the floor, round bottles were not used for wine. So longer (non-standard) bottles were invented and people started aging wines.

In 1979, the US of A set the standard size for a glass wine bottle at 750 ml. It seems like it would have been longer ago than that. But it wasn’t.

Love, Mom