Why are there so many different wine bottle shapes?

We do a lot of live shows to go out there and allow people to try our wine before they buy it. As we sell Italian Wine, the Chianti Fiasco bottle gets quite a bit of attention. People have been consistently asking "why does the bottle look like that?" 

Bottle shapes generally do represent the region or varietal to some degree.
1. Bordeaux: Straight-sided and high-shouldered with a pronounced punt.
2. Burgundy: Tall bottles with sloping shoulders and a smaller punt.
3. Rhône: Similar to the tall bottles with sloping shoulders and a smaller punt of Burgundy, but traditionally less fat.
4. Rhine: Narrow and tall with little or no punt (typically brown glass)
5. Mosel/Alsace: Narrow and tall with little or no punt (typically green glass)
6. Champagne/Sparkling: Thick-walled and wide with a pronounced punt and sloping shoulders.
7. Chianti: The fiasco, a round-bottomed flask encased in a straw basket. This is more often used for everyday table wines; many of the higher-grade Chianti producers have switched to Bordeaux-type bottles.
8. Fortified: Many wines that have been fortified (Port, Madeira, Sherry, etc.) are in very sturdy bottles with a small bulge in the neck to help catch sediment.
Obviously, in Europe, tradition is important but in the New World, most winemakers honour their European ancestors by using the bottle that matches with the grapes...or just put the wine in whatever bottle they like!

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