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Guide To Wine Bottle Sizes

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Different sized bottles are individually named depending on region. Bordeaux (hey, that’s us!) nomenclature does vary, just slightly, from Champagne and Burgundy. Below is a handy reference chart outlining name and volume with “1” representing the standard 750mL bottle. Fun aside, standard 750mL bottles don’t have a fanciful designation; however, since the predecessor at ½ bottle is called a “Demi”, we call what follows a “Moore.” Shout out to my brother for this one…we’re sure most of you understand!

Here’s a handy guide listed in order of increasing size:

Bottle NameNumber of bottles
Demi1/2
“Moore”1
Magnum2
Marie Jean3
Double Magnum4
Jeroboam**6
Imperial***8
Balthazar16
Nebuchadnezzar20
Melchior24

*A Rehoboam, shown in the bottle visual above, also holds 6 bottles, like a Jeroboam, but is called this for sparkling wines only. **A Jeroboam in Burgundy is equivalent to only 4 bottles, same as a double magnum***A Methuselah, like an Imperail, also holds 8 bottles but is aclled this only in Burgundy and Champagne

Btw, that Melchior should yield about 144 glasses of wine. So you shouldn’t need more than two or three bottles for most parties.

History Lesson: Religious Wine Edition

  • Jeroboam: A king in the northern kingdom of Israel
  • Methuselah: Biblical patriarch famed for his longevity, living 969 years
  • Salmanazar: An Assyrian king who ruled over Judea
  • Balthazar: One of Three Wise Men and thought to be a grandson of Nebuchadnezzar 
  • Nebuchadnezzar: King of Babylon who destroyed Jerusalem
  • Melchior: Another of The Three Wise Men and called King of Persia

Finally, to the question of whether bigger is better: For wine, bigger bottles are better in this way: Bigger bottles reduce the ratio of a wine’s surface area exposed to oxygen in relation to its volume, so the rate of oxygen absorption for a given volume of wine is generally lower. This slows down the ageing process and ensures a more nuanced and fresh wine when compared to an identical wine aged in a 750ml bottle.

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