Have you ever been sent to the store to “pick up a bottle” of wine? But did the person ever specify just what size of bottle to pick up?! They could have been talking about a miniature half-bottle, the kind sold for a romantic evening in the park for two. Or, they could have been talking about a Double Magnum bottle, the kind meant to serve everyone at a dinner party.
Wine bottle sizes and names are surprisingly varied! The vast majority of wines come in the regular 75cl bottle size, but it’s well worth knowing all the different wine bottle sizes available.
We’ve compiled everything you need to know about the many wine bottle sizes, the names, and the quantities contained in each. Read on to find out more…
Standard Wine Bottle Size
When most people say “wine bottle”, they’re thinking of a standard wine bottle size. But how big is a bottle of wine in that “standard” size?
The standard bottle of wine comes with 750 ml of liquid. This comes out to roughly 6 glasses of wine per bottle (at 125ml per glass).
Why 750 ml? There is no well-established reason that 750-ml bottles are the “standard”. Some believe it has to do with the old measure of 1/5 of a gallon, or even that it may be the maximum size a glass-blower could blow in one go!
Whatever the reason, the size was standardised in the 1970s. There are some notable exceptions, such as Vin Jaune from Jura which is sold in 62cl bottles.
Half/Demi Bottle Size
How big is a half/demi bottle?
A half or demi bottle is exactly half of the standard wine bottle size. It contains 375 ml of liquid, which is enough for 3 regular glasses of wine.
This can be a very practical wine bottle size for those who wouldn’t drink a whole bottle in one sitting, or if you wanted more than one type of wine.
As with the Bousquet Chardonnay, there’s a desire to let the quality of the fruit speak for itself, so the wine is aged in oak for just six months before being put into bottle.
Magnum Bottle Size
If you’re looking for a large wine bottle, you’ll probably want to consider a Magnum at first. This is the double-sized bottle that’s perfect for serving a few guests at a time, or for hosting a small dinner party! It means that all the guests will be drinking the same wine, as there can be slight bottle variation between any two bottles.
Larger formats such as magnums have a lower air to liquid ratio, which slows the ageing process. This means magnums are an ideal size for cellaring wines.
How big is a Magnum? A Magnum-sized bottle of wine contains 1,500 ml, or 1.5 litres of wine.
How many bottles in a Magnum? You get two standard-sized bottles of wine per Magnum bottle, which means up to 12 glasses of wine.
Note: The name of some champagne bottle sizes differ from wine bottles, so you may be wondering how many bottles in a Magnum of champagne. In this case, a Magnum of champagne is the same as a Magnum of wine – 1.5 litres of liquid, or the equivalent of two bottles of champagne.
Jeroboam Bottle Size
For those who are hosting a large party with 10 to 30 guests, the Jeroboam is the ideal bottle size to choose. It also makes a great centrepiece or talking point – these are very imposing bottles! This size is also know as a double magnum.
How big is a Jeroboam? A Jeroboam-sized bottle of wine contains 3,000 ml, or 3 litres of wine.
How many bottles in a Jeroboam? You get four standard-sized bottles of wine per Jeroboam bottle, which means up to 24 glasses of wine.
A Jeroboam bottle is large enough to serve a lot of guests at once. If you’re planning a larger party with more than 15 or 20 guests, buy a couple of Jeroboams and you’ll have enough to last all night long.
Rehoboam Bottle Size
The next size up is a rehoboam, and anything of this size or above is very rare and generally only bottled for special purposes, rather than general sale.
How big is a Rehoboam? A Rehoboam-sized bottle of wine contains 4,500 ml, or 4.5 litres of wine.
How many bottles in a Rehoboam? You get six standard-sized bottles of wine per Rehoboam bottle, which means up to 36 glasses.This size of bottle is able to handle a decent-sized dinner party (up to 20 guests) on its own.
Methuselah/Imperial Bottle Size
For wine-tasting events with 40 to 70 people, you’ll definitely want a wine bottle of this size.
How big is a Methuselah? A Methuselah-sized bottle of wine contains 6,000 ml, or 6 litres of wine.
How many bottles in a Methuselah? You get eight standard-sized bottles of wine per Methuselah bottle, or 48 glasses of wine.
A wine bottle of this size is what we use for large-scale wine tastings. It’s large enough to give all of your guests a taste of the wine without running out.
Salmanazar Bottle Size
By the time you reach a wine bottle of this size, you’re no longer buying wine at retail. This passes into “bulk buying”, and you’ll need a friend or two to help you pour it!
How big is a Salmanazar? A Salmanazar-sized bottle of wine contains 9,000 ml, or 9 litres of wine.
How many bottles in a Salmanazar? You get 12 standard-sized bottles of wine per Salmanazar bottle, or 72 glasses of wine.
This bottle contains the amount of wine you’d get in a case of standard-sized bottles, and we find that it’s more than enough for any large-scale event!
Balthazar Bottle Size
Definitely a big bottle size!
How big is a Balthazar? A Balthazar-sized bottle of wine contains 12,000 ml, or 12 litres of wine.
How many bottles in a Balthazar? You get 16 standard-sized bottles of wine per Balthazar bottle, or 96 glasses of wine.
Nebuchadnezzar Bottle Size
How big is a Nebuchadnezzar? A Nebuchadnezzar-sized bottle of wine contains 15,000 ml, or 15 litres of wine.
How many bottles in a Nebuchadnezzar? You get 20 standard-sized bottles of wine per Nebuchadnezzar bottle, or 120 glasses of wine.
Melchior Bottle Size
This bad boy is so big you won’t even be able to lift it!
How big is a Melchior? A Melchior-sized bottle of wine contains 18,000 ml, or 18 litres of wine.
How many bottles in a Melchior? You get 24 standard-sized bottles of wine per Melchior bottle, or 144 glasses of wine.
With 18 litres of liquid PLUS the weight of the glass, this bottle weighs close to 20 kilograms.
Champagne Bottle Sizes
There are two additional extra-large sizes for champagne bottles:
Primat bottles hold 27 litres, or the equivalent of 36 standard bottles.
Melchizedek bottles hold 30 litres, or the equivalent of 40 standard bottles of champagne.
Got any questions for our VintageRoots experts? Drop a comment below, and we’ll be happy to reply!