Wine improves with age. The older I get, the better I like it.
Have you ever been confused by the names given to different sized wine bottles? Most standard wine bottles are 757 milliliters which is roughly equivalent to 1/5th of a U.S. gallon, thus they are called “fifths.” The cheaper wines are sold in liters, so avoid buying a two-liter bottle of wine unless you are a connoisseur of Boone’s Farm (fan page HERE). More costly wines come with bottle names that require a chart and a knowledge of the local area. Use this chart the next time you’re eying that silk-screened double magnum, or is that a Jeoboam?
Other bottle sizes used to contain wine are:
- Split -- 1/4 of a standard wine bottle or 6.4 ounces
- Half-bottle -- 1/2 of a standard wine bottle or 12.8 fluid ounces or 4/5 pint
- Magnum – 1.5 liters equivalent to 2 standard bottles (usually champagne)
So far so good, but here is where it gets tricky…
- Marie Jeanne — A Marie Jeanne is also known as a “tregnum” or “tappit hen” in the port wine trade and is 2.25 liters.
- Jeroboam – The Biblical Jeroboam was the first King of the Northern Kingdom. In the language of wine, however, Jeroboam is better know as a “double magnum,” or 4 bottles in one or 1.6 magnums, or 6.4 pints (usually champagne and brandy). But be careful, because different regions in France have a different size in mind when you are buying the local fair.
- Gallon – 5 bottles in one. Since most of the world uses the metric system you might be better off just buying five bottles, unless of course you just want them to fill up a milk jug with their best bordeaux. Good luck getting that through customs!
- Rehoboam – 6 bottles in one or 3 magnums (usually champagne)
- Methuselah – Ordering the Bible’s oldest man will get you 8 bottles in one or 4 magnums (usually champagne)
- Salmanazar or Mordechai– Who do you like best, the Cousin of Queen Ester of Persia (Mordechai) or the Assyrian King (Salmanazar)? Ordering either will get you 12 bottles in one or 6 magnums (usually champagne)
- Balthazar – Balthazar is, according to Christian folklore, one of the wise men. He got wise by ordering 16 bottles in one or 8 magnums (usually champagne). He must not have been the wisest of the wise as we will shortly see.
- Nebuchadnezzar – If you place your order for the Biblical King of Babylon you will get 20 bottles in one or 10 magnums (usually champagne).
- Melchior — Another of the wise men, a Melchior will net you the equivalent of 24 bottles (18 liters) making him wiser than Balthazar by far.
- Goliath — A Goliath is also known as a primat and will give you 36 bottles in one or 18 magnums. If you drink that much wine you will surely feel 10 feet tall.
- Melchizedek — The High Priest of Israel lays claim to the biggest volume coming in at a respectable 40 bottle equivalent or a full 30 liters of goodness.
Not to be outdone, our friends in China have decided to build a three ton wine bottle. The 30-foot long and eight-foot wide bottle contains a rather large supply of Jinding “claret” and was made especially for the Sixth Yantai International Wine Expo held in Shandong province. No word on whether or not this size will be named after a Chinese deity. As always, we at DaytonDUI encourage you to drink your wine of choice responsibly or by designating a sober driver to help you get home. If you need to contact DaytonDUI you can reach us at (937) 318-1384.
- Wine bottle shapes (theoxfordwineblog.wordpress.com)
- How to Open a Wine Bottle (answers.com)
- Chinese create three-ton wine bottle (thedrinksbusiness.com)
- A bottle of wine and a handful of quotes (kerianskitchen.wordpress.com)