I came across a very interesting account online about the discovery and analysis of three Roman wine barrels in Reims, a city still noted for its fine wines. Whilst not unique they are in a remarkable state of preservation and have yielded a great deal of information about the work of Roman vintners.
Both the construction of the barrels, which is very similar to that still employed, and the numerous marks added to them as part of the wine trade indicate the complexity of the shipping involved. Barrels were a Northern European development as opposed to the Mediterranean amphorae, and often linked to trade routes along the rivers.
The article, which has a link to a full archaeological report on the barrels, can be read at Preserved Roman wine barrels reveal ancient coopers’ art