A bottle is a container with a neck that is narrower than the body and a "mouth." Bottles are often made of glass, clay, plastic or other impervious materials, and typically used to store liquids such as water, milk, soft drinks, beer, wine, cooking oil, medicine, shampoo, ink and chemicals. A device applied in the bottling line to seal the mouth of a bottle is termed a bottle cap (external), or stopper (internal). A bottle can also be sealed using induction sealing.
In modern times for some bottles a legally mandated deposit is paid, which is refunded after returning the bottle to the retailer. For other glass bottles there is often separate garbage collection for recycling.
The glass bottle was an important development in the history of wine, because, when combined with a high-quality stopper such as a cork, it allowed long-term aging of wine. Glass has all qualities required for long-term storage. It eventually gave rise to "château bottling," the practice where an estate's wine is put in bottle at the source, rather than by a merchant. Prior to this, wine would be sold by the barrel (and before that, the amphora) and put into bottles only at the merchant's shop, if at all. This left a large and often abused opportunity for fraud and adulteration, as the consumer had to trust the merchant as to the contents. It is thought that most wine consumed outside of wine-producing regions had been tampered with in some way. Also, not all merchants were careful to avoid oxidation or contamination while bottling, leading to large bottle variation. Particularly in the case of port, certain conscientious merchants' bottling of old ports fetch higher prices even today. To avoid these problems, most fine wine is bottled at the place of production (including all port, since 1974).
There are many sizes and shapes of bottles used for wine. Some of the known shapes:
In 1872, British soft drink maker Hiram Codd of Camberwell, south east London, designed and patented a bottle designed specifically for carbonated drinks. The Codd-neck bottle, as it was called, was designed and manufactured to enclose a marble and a rubber washer/gasket in the neck. The bottles were filled upside down, and pressure of the gas in the bottle forced the marble against the washer, sealing in the carbonation. The bottle was pinched into a special shape, as can be seen in the photo to the right, to provide a chamber into which the marble was pushed to open the bottle. This prevented the marble from blocking the neck as the drink was poured
Soon after its introduction, the bottle became extremely popular with the soft drink and brewing industries in mainly Europe, Asia and Australasia, though some alcohol drinkers disdained the use of the bottle. One etymology of the term codswallop originates from beer sold in Codd bottles.
The bottles were regularly produced for many decades, but gradually declined in usage. Since children smashed the bottles to retrieve the marbles, they are relatively rare and have become collector items; particularly in the UK. A cobalt coloured Codd bottle today fetches thousands of British pounds at auction. The Codd-neck design is still used for the Japanese soft drink Ramune and in the Indian drink called Banta.