In the past couple hundred years or so, there hasn’t been much by way of changes in the shape of the wine bottle. There are established standards for certain types of wine, and established sizes, however, most of what you see on the shelves at the wine shop are relatively uniform (give or take a few “odd balls”).
While randomly searching the internet for new research articles on wine, I stumbled across a new patent application (published on February 9th, 2012) for a unique type of wine bottle that, to my knowledge, has not been created before: the “Self-Aerating Wine Bottle”.
According to the brief summary of the product, “the self-aerating wine bottle may include a body having a top and a bottom, the top having an opening through which wine is dispensed, and a plurality of aerating shapes located in proximity to the top of the body, the plurality of aerating shapes serving to create a surface area that aerates wine when the wine is dispensed from the top of the body”.
I’ve included three of the figures of the self-aerating wine bottle that were from the patent application throughout this post.
What did the inventors of the self-aerating wine bottle choose to create this device? Well, they claim that while yes, there are many products out there that serve to aerate wine, most of which attach to the top of the bottle, these devices can be fragile and relatively expensive. They also claim that you always need to have these devices on hand, which is often not possible, due to it being cumbersome to carry say inside a restaurant or to a friends’ house for dinner. By incorporating the aerating mechanism inside the bottle itself, these problems are nullified.
According to the patent, these “plurality of aerating shapes” include crescents, stars, hearts, dimples, grooves, squares, circles, ovals, polygons, diamonds, lightning bolts, and snowflakes. Which type of shape built into the body depends upon the type of wine inside the bottle, and the size of these shapes also depends on the type of wine in the bottle (ex.: more intense shapes for the bigger reds). These shapes inside the wine bottle effectively create more surface area which create lift and drop action in order to add oxygen into the wine, and “bring it to life”.
According to the patent, by including this aerating mechanism into the bottle itself, it eliminates the extra step of placing an external aerator on top of the bottle, and also saves money, since one would no longer have to purchase the external aerator to begin with. The inventors also claim that this design saves world resources, as the self-aerating bottle is now doing more and performing more functions using the same amount of raw materials.
The inventors also lay claims to how this self-aerating bottle design benefits certain types of people/entities, including the consumer, the wine brand, the retailer, and the bottle maker. For the consumer, the self-aerating wine bottle makes the wine ready for consumption faster and is an overall added value. Also, the unique shapes make the purchase novel and make a nice gift for someone (i.e. the heart shapes for a lover). For the wine brand, it makes the bottle stand out on the shelf, and creates a “buzz” among consumers. For the retailer, it gives them a unique talking point with their customers, and also because of the unique protruding shapes, it invites customers to pick up and feel the bottle (which studies have shown, once the bottle is in the customers’ hand, they are more likely to purchase it than if they did not pick it up). Finally, for the bottle maker, the design allows them to use the same amount of glass while increasing the overall surface area inside the bottle (at no additional cost to the consumer), and increases the overall sales and product line of the company.
To my knowledge, there haven’t been any peer-reviewed scientific studies examining this novel type of wine bottle, but the patent application certainly does intrigue me. Keep an eye out on the shelves for this type of bottle, and if you do have access to it, please report back and let us know what you think!
In case you’re curious about more of the details, here is the link to the patent (application number 20120031915).
I am not a health professional, nor do I pretend to be. Please consult your doctor before altering your alcohol consumption habits. Do not consume alcohol if you are under the age of 21. Do not drink and drive. Enjoy responsibly!