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A Quick Guide to Wine Bottle Sizes and Names

Wine Bottle Sizes: What About Melchizedek?

You've seen them, those extra-large, giant or even enormous bottles of wine or champagne. But do you know the names for these different wine bottle sizes and more importantly, what size might you get for your own party or event?

When choosing a bottle size, one must first distinguish between wine and Champagne (or sparkling wine) as the bottle names and sizes can differ. (Note: technically speaking, only sparkling wine from the Champagne region in France is called "Champagne." I am using the term in the more general context of meaning the "bubbly stuff.")

A standard glass-pour of wine is approximately 5 ounces so the standard bottle yields about 5 glasses. With Champagne there are typically 6 glasses (flutes) per bottle.

The two charts below cover most of the bottle sizes and names for wine and Champagne. I have included the number of glasses per bottle to make it easier to plan for your guests.

Wine Bottle Sizes and Names

* In the Bordeaux region of France they use different names in the above two instances


NAME OF BOTTLE # OF STANDARD BOTTLES LITERSGLASSES PER BOTTLE 

Demi or half

1/2

.38

2.5

Standard 

.75

Magnum 

1.5

10 

Double magnum or Jeroboam

3

20 

Rehoboam (or Jeroboam*)

6

4.5

30 

Methoselah (or Imperial in the U.S. or Bordeaux*)

8

6

40 

Salmanazar or Mordichai

12

9

60 

Balthazar

16

12

80 

Nebuchadnezzar

20

15

100 

Melchior

24

18

120 

Sovereign

34

25.5

170

Champagne Bottle Sizes and Names

NAME OF BOTTLE # OF STANDARD BOTTLES LITERS GLASSES PER BOTTLE

Piccolo or Split

1/4 

.19 

1.5

Demi or Half

1/2 

.38 

3

Standard 

.75 

6

Magnum 

1.5 

12

Jeroboam

24

Rehoboam

4.5 

36

Methuselah

48

Salmanazar

12 

72

Balthazar

16 

12 

96

Nebuchadnezzar

20 

15 

120

Melchior

24 

18 

144

Soloman

26.5

20

159 

Sovereign

34

25.5

204

Primat

36 

27 

216

Melchizedek 

40 

30 

240

The Big Boys

Jeroboam and Methuseluh

Jeroboam and Methuseluh

More wine trivia...

As you can see, most of these large bottle formats are named after biblical kings and, just to make it confusing, some of the names depend on the region that the wine is from. This is bound to happen when you are dealing with a subject matter with as much history as wine. Here are a few more interesting wine facts:

1. The color of the glass bottle indicates the type of wine:

  • Dark green contains red wines such as Burgundy and red Bordeaux.
  • Light green indicates a dry white wine.
  • Clear or amber is used for sweet white wines.
  • Champagne is bottled in green or clear (usually rosé.)

2. The shape of the bottle is also an indication of the wine variety. For example, Bordeaux bottles always have shoulders whereas Burgundy bottles do not. (Tip: Think of Brigitte Bardot's shoulders to help you remember.)

3.) The preferred use of cork to seal the bottle is purely based on tradition. There is no evidence that the wine is better off with a cork as opposed to a screw cap.

4.) It takes 2.5 pounds of grapes to make one bottle of wine.

5.) There are over 10,000 varieties of wine.

6.) There are 12 bottles of wine in a case.

7.) Wine making dates back to 6000 B.C.

8.) White wines should be served around 45ºF (7°C.) For red wine, the optimal serving temperature is between 50 and 60°F (10-15°C.)

9.) Wine is not typically served in cut glasses; choose smooth, clear glasses for wine.

10.) The base of a wine glass is called a "foot."

Comments

Mrs. Menagerie (author) from The Zoo on March 31, 2012:

Thanks!

mohit on March 31, 2012:

it is very nice information in this site.

ChristinCordle12 on October 12, 2011:

Very informative hub.Thanks for sharing.

Mrs. Menagerie (author) from The Zoo on August 30, 2011:

Hi Rjsadowski-I actually own two restaurants and we have had many special events that have special wine bottles. I do drink wine myself but I don't usually require a magnum...heeheeheee!!!

rjsadowski on August 30, 2011:

An interesting and informative article. Do you actually drink wine or did you write this based on research alone? I have been drinking wine for more than 45 years and I have not seen a number of these sizes, although I have no doubt that they exist.

Mrs. Menagerie (author) from The Zoo on July 05, 2011:

Hi Matt and thanks-a-million!!!

mattdigiulio from Los Angeles on July 03, 2011:

Hi Mrs. Menagerie,

Thanks for this! I did not realize how many bottle sizes there are.

Best, Matt D

Mrs. Menagerie (author) from The Zoo on June 21, 2011:

Hi Tina! Thanks for reading my hub! Isn't that a new profile picture? I like it!

Christina Lornemark from Sweden on June 21, 2011:

Thanks for this very interesting information! I had no idea that wine bottles or the color of the bottle could tell so much! Since I don't know so much about wine this information will be very helpful when I now and then need to select the "right" wine.

Thanks for a very useful hub!

Tina

Mrs. Menagerie (author) from The Zoo on June 21, 2011:

Thank you Charlu! It is fun an impressive to bring out a huge bottle of wine for celebrations! They have to be ordered in advance though.

Charlu from Florida on June 21, 2011:

Wow I never knew this much about wine bottles and was a bartender for years. I'm really shocked to now how the color of the bottle has reference to the wine inside. That is awesome info. Great hub especially for party and event planner, restaurant entrepreneurs, or if your just planning a get together. Thanks for a great informative hub.

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