The definition of punt (in the wine world) is an inverse indentation at the base of a wine bottle. For Champagne and sparkling wine, the indention helps to give structural integrity to the bottle, which has to be pretty strong to hold in the pressure of the bubbly wine. Also, it helps the bottles stack if you are putting them one on top of the other during the second fermentation stage.
For non-sparkling wines, a punt is used to form a stable non-rocking bottom in the hand-blown bottles. Today a punt is unnecessary and exists only because many consumers equate the presence of a punt as an indication of quality. Modern glass technology allows bottles to be made that do not require a punt for strength or stability for either sparkling or still wines.
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