Collecting Antique Wine Bottles

Almost anyone can understand the charm of collecting liquor bottles if they are interesting visually, like Jim Beam bottles are. However, most antique wine bottles look basically the same, don't they?

Antique Wine Bottles
Wine was not always carried in glass bottles. It was not until the 1640s that glass bottles were used for transporting wines. These early wine bottles were small, round, green bottles.

Over time, the appearance of wine bottles changed. Around 1735, the bodies of bottles became thinner and more cylindrical in shape, making storage easier. It wasn't until 1820 that wine bottles could be made by machine.

Most early bottles were unmarked, making it difficult to learn the exact origins of the wine bottles. However, some did have wine bottle labels, listing the name of the owner or a town, and the vintage date on the bottle.

Collecting antique wine bottles is perhaps the most challenging of any type of wine bottle collecting. Collectors value these bottles for their scarcity and their age. These bottles can evoke the image of a long dead connoisseur savoring a glass of wine poured 250 years ago.

Rare Wines
While many enjoy collecting rare wines, others are more interested in the wine bottles than the wines themselves. One reason might be that empty wine bottles are more affordable than those filled with fine wines. For example, a bottle of 1945 Lafite Rothschild can cost you $1,400 or more. However, you might be able to pick up an empty 1945 Lafite Rothschild with a slightly tattered label for about $30.

Labeled Wine Bottles
While some people choose to remove wine labels from bottles, you may enjoy keeping the bottles and labels in their original condition. You have a wide range of choices if you decide to collect labeled wine bottles. You may just keep bottles from your favorite wineries or go for bottles produced in foreign countries. Some people like to collect labeled wine bottles produced in places where wine is harder to produce. Others like to concentrate on the artwork of the labels themselves or painted wine bottles. If your favorite wines are generally pinot noirs, you may end up with a collection of a variety of pinot noir bottles.

Once you make a decision about the direction that your wine bottle collection will take, you will be able to scour the world and perhaps sip your way into a beautiful display of bottles.

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