Wine bottle sizes, or “formats” can be confusing not only for their history-driven terminology, but also for their various presentations. Hence, we have put together this quick guide to educate you dear reader.
As it happens with many aspects of wine aesthetics, the nomenclature for wine bottle formats links us with the fundamentals of wine culture. Wine has long been a living part of our historical memory. Wine bottle names bear out this fact being connected to one of our oldest written documents: The Bible.
No one really knows when people started naming wine bottle sizes after biblical kings. The origin of this historic convention is a mystery, but it surely gave wine formats unique names.
Let’s go deeper into the mystery to discover more about bottle sizes, the answer may be waiting for you at the bottom of your wine bottle. First let’s get started with the basics offering a broad and general view of most known wine formats.
Conventional Wine Bottle Sizes
- Standard Bottle. The keystone of all wine production and bottling. The standard bottle size is 750 ml (25 oz) and it equates to six glasses of wine. Twelve standard bottles usually make up a wine case.
- The Half Bottle. This bottle measures 375 ml (12 oz). This is the favored format for dessert wines like Sauternes, or those wines generally served in smaller glasses.
- The Magnum. The Magnum is twice the standard bottle size. Wine lovers are particularly fond of this 1.5-litre bottle (50 oz) as it is considered ideal for ageing and sharing à deux.
Wine Bottle Sizes Worthy of Biblical Kings
- Jeroboam. This bottle, also known as Double Magnum, is equivalent to four standard 750 ml bottles. However, sometimes the Jeroboam is 3 liters in sparkling wines. It is named for the first biblical king of the northern kingdom of Israel.
- Rehoboam. The son of Solomon and grandson of David in the Bible measures 4.5 liters (152 oz). It is a format favored by Champagne.
- Methuselah or Imperial. This bottle size refers either the oldest man in the Bible or the Imperial gallon. It packs a punch with 6 liters (202 oz) almost 8 bottles in one.
- Salmanazar. Equivalent to twelve standard 750 ml bottles or a full case of wine it boasts 9 liters (304 oz). Named after an Assyrian king, the Salmanazar is a mighty bottle.
- Balthazar. You surely have heard of this one as one of the three Biblical Magi that visited Jesus after his birth. We hope you come across a Wise Man like Balthazar that presents you with this magical 12-liter wine bottle (406 oz).
- Nebuchadnezzar. Boasting 15 liters this bottle is equivalent to 20 standard bottles. This bottle is named for the longest-ruling king of Babylon. It is the choice of those that can last as long as the Babylonian king drinking wine.
- Melchior. Holding 24 standard bottles of wine and weighing almost 100 pounds, you might need some help carrying this. We are talking about 18 liters (608 oz). Melchior is the Wisest of the Three Magi Kings.
- Solomon. The king of kings the most majestic of all featuring 20 liters (676 oz), although sometimes it comes as 18-liter bottle (aka Melchior).
Choose the size of VenToSpain for Your Next Wine Experience
The aesthetics of wine reconnect us to a living moment of our traditions and day-to-day lives. Spanish wines are renowned for their high quality, and that’s why we invite you to try our carefully crafted wine line VenToSpain. Don’t miss out on this chance of exploring new flavors. No matter which wine bottle size you prefer, what lies at the bottom of every bottle is pure delight. We are confident our wines will meet your expectations. Wines are not simply a beverage; they are part of our history and culture. Keep these facts in mind the next time you drink a glass of wine and amaze everyone with your knowledge of wine bottle sizes!