wine.bottle.sizes

(feed your inner cork dork)


Wine comes in many different bottle sizes. Fortunately, these sizes are fairly uniform worldwide (largely due to US and EU government regulations). However, different world regions like to use different names for the various bottles. So next time you're at a party and some guy is bragging about the Imperial of Champagne he drank, you can call him out on it. For this size bottle (6000ml), Champagne (the region) uses the much cooler name, Methuselah. Here's a quick chart below for your reference.

The standard measurement worldwide is in milliliters (ml), and the "standard bottle" of wine is 750ml. This standard was set after decades of testing, when it was finally decided by Alexander the Great that 750ml was "the amount of wine needed by one man in one sitting to hear the voices of the gods." (I am, of course, lying to you. Everyone knows Alexander the Great preferred Magnums.) Before machines took over, bottles were all hand blown, and a trained glass blower had the lung capacity to blow one 750ml bottle in one breath. Once machines came about, it only made sense to standardize this measurement and take the bottle from "about 750ml" to exactly that.

To make sure we're all on the same page, 1000ml = 100cl = 1.0L. These are generally the only ways you will see bottles labeled. Rarely does anyone use cl, but some EU regions like using 75cl instead of 750ml, so you may see it now and then.

I would list the key regions alphabetically, but honestly, do you really need a 9.0L bottle of Bordeaux? Probably not. However, a full case of Champagne being poured from one bottle is bad-ass.


Number of Glasses (Sparkling)* Number of Glasses (Still)** Capacity Champagne/Burgundy/Rhone Name Bordeaux Name Standard 750ml Bottle Equivalent
3 2.5 375ml Half Half 1/2 bottle
5.5 5 750ml Bottle Bottle 1 bottle (get the math here?)
12.5 10 1500ml Magnum Magnum 2 bottles
-- 15 2250ml -- Marie-Jeanne (no longer made) 3 bottles
25 20 3000ml Jeroboam Double Magnum 4 bottles
38 30 4500ml Rehoboam Jeroboam*** 6 bottles
-- 33.5 5000ml -- Jeroboam*** 6.6 bottles
50.5 40 6000ml Methuselah Imperiale 8 bottles
76 50.5 9000ml Salmanazar Salmanazar (rare) 12 bottles
101 81 12000ml Balthazar Double Imperiale 16 bottles
126.5 101 15000ml Nebuchadnezzar -- 20 bottles
152 121.5 18000ml Melchior -- 24 bottles
* Based on a 4oz glass for sparkling wine.
** Based on a 5oz glass for red/white wine.
*** Jeroboam in Bordeaux was 4500ml prior to 1978, and 5000ml after.

Yes, the French really do use these weird names.



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