Old Sturbridge Village and Wines

The pilgrims landed in Massachusetts in 1642, and as soon as they got settled, they began to bring in shipments of wine. Wine was a normal part of life for many colonists - wine was far safer to drink than local water and helped bring flavor and enjoyment to their plain meals.

Wine bottles at the time were hand blown, and were shaped like onions. They're often called onion bottles. This was the easiest shape for a glassblower to blow, and the cork could stick into the narrow part at the top. The bottle could also be easily carried by this top area. The bottom was of course flat to keep the bottle from rolling away!

Wine was not normally actually sold in these bottles. It would be kept in a barrel at the store or winery, and people would come in and ask for a portion of wine. The wine would be measured out to them, just like ham is given to you at a deli counter today.

These photos were taken by Lisa Shea. The actual bottles now reside in the Old Sturbridge Village recreation village in Massachusetts. You can Visit the OSV Website to learn more about them.

Lisbon Wine Bottles from Old Sturbridge Village
Glassware in Colonial America
History of Glass Wine Bottles

Wine and History