Wine Growing – These Bottle Sizes Exist

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By Luciana Oliveira

Everyone who is interested in wine and viticulture sooner or later stumbles upon the question of what the different bottle sizes are all about.

The different size units range from small bottles to maxi size. Interested parties can find out what bottle sizes there are for bottling wine in this article.

The basics of wine bottles

Wine lovers are confronted with the different bottle sizes at the latest when the waiter hands over the wine list.

At first glance, the many terms may cause confusion. As a rule, only the standard sizes are found on wine shelves in the trade.

This circumstance can be responsible for the fact that many wine consumers succumb to the error that there are only the bottle units, which hold a volume, which is settled minimum with 0.25 liters and maximum with 1.5 liters. The variety of wine bottles speaks a different language.

The wine bottle does not only come in different sizes. Surely, every wine connoisseur has noticed that each volume has a different name.

The names of the voluminous glass bottles are familiar to anyone who hears them and has biblical knowledge.

Among the labeling there are great personalities such as Melchior, Salmanassar or Methuselah.

But how is it that these of all names were used? Today, no one can fully reconstruct the exact background.

However, it is assumed that a large wine bottle is equated with the gifts that the baby Jesus received from the Magi at his birth. A sovereign gift worthy of a king.

Another interesting name is the so-called Magnum bottle. It has a capacity of 1.5 liters.

Mistakenly, many contemporaries consider this wine bottle to be the largest.

However, there are far more voluminous containers than the Magnum bottle.

Nevertheless, the magnum bottle is considered the classic par excellence and is often ordered.

The wine bottle designations and their capacity

Connoisseurs will be amazed, because wines are bottled in a total of ten different bottle sizes.

Each size has been given its own designation. So that every wine lover can get an overview of the names and quantities, all units are clearly summarized below.

The list starts with the smallest wine bottle and ends with the largest unit.

  1. Piccolo – capacity: 0.25 liters
  2. Bouteille – capacity: 0.75 liters
  3. Magnum – capacity: 1.5 liters
  4. double magnum / jeroboam – capacity: 3 liters
  5. Impériale / Methusalem – capacity: 6 liters
  6. Salmanassar – capacity: 9 liters
  7. Balthasar – capacity: 12 liters
  8. Nebuchadnezzar – capacity: 15 liters
  9. Goliath – capacity: 18 liters
  10. Solomon – capacity: 20 liters

The envelope and the taste nuances

The size of a wine bottle not only affects the amount that can be poured into it.

Rather, the volume determines the aroma and taste of the wine. The size of the bottle is partly responsible for the aging process.

Small bottles allow the wine to mature faster than larger models do. For this reason, wine lovers often choose a magnum bottle to store.

This way, a well-stocked wine cellar can make its way into your own four walls without the threat of a loss of taste.

Another detail that catches the eye is the closure. While local winemakers still rely on the traditional cork closure, overseas wineries are increasingly using the newfangled screw cap.

However, the closures are said to have no influence on the taste of the wine.

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Luciana joined our team as a mum blogger in 2020. A dedicated mum to a lively daughter and a dog, Luna, Luciana brings authenticity and passion to every post. Her expertise in parenting and lifestyle topics offers practical, relatable advice for real-life situations.

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