The Wine Bottle
Wine is a beautiful thing. It starts great conversations and often times leaves you pondering its very existence and craft. There is such glamour in uncorking a fresh bottle, even if its just in the comfort of your home. The pop of a cork, the elegant way, your Sommelier describes it and the way it matches with food like no other drink can.
Undoubtedly you might have noticed that there are as many bootle types as there are wine styles. Perhaps that is the best way to approach this topic; from a stylistic point. Sparkling wines and Champagnes, Rieslings ans sweet wines, fortified wines, each comes in a differently shaped bottle. Why? Can't they all be held in one?
If you think about it, uniformity, in anything can end up being very mundane. Wine makers aren't just looking at the aesthetics, rather functionality. Each bottle of wine serves a unique purpose, yet some are key markers on the region that the wine is coming from.
Usual things like the Punt (that indent at the base of the bottle) have been theorized to serve numerous functions like giving sediment a place to 'collect' so that it is much easier when you decant.
Like we mentioned, there are various bottle types, however, in this article, we look at the most common. The Bordeaux, Burgundy, Alsace and Champagne bottles. Now not only used in their regional/traditional wines but are a good way of letting you know what style New World wines achieved for that specific bottle.
Bordeaux Bottles. Mostly used for red wines. Bordeaux bottles come from their namesake region in France. Traditionally, they held the full bodied infamous 'Claret' which is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and some bit of Petite Verdot. In this broad-shouldered narrow-bottom wine bottle, you can expect to find New World Wines of the same varietals or even other bolder grapes.
Burgundy Bottles. Broader bases and slightly curved shoulders are clear markers of this bottle. Traditionally trusted to hold Chablis, Beaujolais and Pinot Noir from the Burgundy region, New World wines will deliver some of the same varietals and styles.
Alsace Bottles bear in them the marvel that is Riesling.Thinner, longer versions of this bottle hold sweet wines and late harvest.
Wine has a rich intertwining history with religion and medicine. It is therefore no surprise that most of these bottle sizes are named after kings of the Old Testament.
Knowing the sizes of your wine bottles will prove vital when planing an adequate cellar. You can fit pigeon holes or crevasses to accommodate each size that takes you fancy. Do remember that each bottle will vary uniquely to their winemaker and that their heights might differ as well.
Here are the various wine bottle types.
- Half (Topette) Quarter: They come in varying sizes from the smallest holding about a quarter of a wine glass to the largest with the girth for one hundred and fifty bottles!
- Quarter(Piccolo) Bottle: 187ml (1/4 bottle)(1 glass of wine)
- Half Bottle: Demi or Split: 375ml (1/2 bottle)(2 glasses of wine)
- Standard: 750ml(4-6 glasses of wine)
- Magnum: 1.5 Liters(2 bottles)
- Jeroboam or Double Magnum: 3 Liters(4 bottles)
- Champagne* Rehoboam: 4.5 Liters (6 bottles)
- Bordeaux Jeroboam: 5 Liters (6.75 bottles)
- Old Bordeaux Jeroboam: was 4.45 liters(5 bottles)
- Imperial: 6 Liters (8 bottles)
- Methuselah: 6 Liters (8 bottles)
- Salmanzar: 9 Liters (12 bottles)
- Balthazar: 12 Liters (16 bottles)
- Nebuchanezzar: 15 Liters (20 bottles)
- Melchoir: 18 Liters (24 bottles)
- Solomon: 20 Liters (26 bottles)
- Sovereign: 25 Liters (33.3 bottles)
- Primat or Goliath: 27 Liters (36 bottles)
- Melchizedek: 30 Liters (40 bottles)
- The Beringer Maximus: 130 Liters (184 bottles, 15 cases)