Wine Bottle Sizes: How Big Can You Get?

Can you name the biggest bottle used for wine? And how much does it contain?

If I told you 40 bottles- that’s almost 2 cases- you probably wouldn’t believe me. But that is exactly what’s contained in a  Melchizedek.

If that’s too big to get into your suitacase, try a Primat (the equivalent of 36 bottles). Probably the wine bottle name you recognize the most is Melchior (one of the 3 Wise Men) which holds 24 bottles. For some reason I remember the Nebuchadnezzar (named after a famous King of Babylon) and that holds 20 standard 750 ml bottles.

large format Sauternes

large format Sauternes

 

Another Wise Man had a wine bottle named after him: Balthazar, the equivalent of 16 bottles. The Balthazar, named after a Syrian King, holds a case of wine or 12 bottles. This 9 liter size is common to Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne.

An Imperial or Matuselah contains 8 bottles. Bordeaux refers to this wine bottle size as the Imperial while Burgundy and Champagne prefer to use Matuselah.

Here’s another confusing wine bottle shape for you: the Rehoboam, equivalent to six bottles..  This bottle size is confusingly called Jeroboam in Bordeaux while a Champagne Jeroboam contains 3 liters.

But don’t worry: things get simpler as they get smaller. Double-Magnum is the equivalent of two Magnum bottles and contains 3 liters of liquid. Although in the French Champagne region, a Double-Magnum wine bottle is called Jeroboam.

The Magnum wine bottle contains the equivalent of two 750ml standard wine bottles , or 1.5 liters of liquid.

And finally there is the standard bottle which for some mysterious reason that no one can explain contains 750 ml of wine. We can also get down to half bottles (375 oz), or splits (187 oz.)

One final tip: the larger the wine bottle, the slower the wine ages.

large format St. Emilion

large format St. Emilion

Author Vin Marottoli

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