Curiously, the word butler is thought to have derived from the term bottler. From the time of the Middle Ages through the mid-18th century, the English upper classes bought wine in barrels and then transferred it into bottles that sometimes carried a family seal, crest, or other private marking. In a significantly large and wealthy household, it was one of the food service tasks of the head servant to monitor the wine cellar, filling glass bottles as needed for the dining room. Thus the “bottler” from the Old French bouteillier (bottle bearer) became, in time, the butler.


Get WineSpeed

Join tens of thousands of other wine lovers. Get each week’s edition of WineSpeed delivered to your inbox every Friday. It’s fast. It’s free. It’s the smartest way to stay up to speed on wine.
Email address
First Name
Last Name
Other Way You Heard About Us
Be sure to check your inbox to confim your subscription.