Size Matters: Get to Know the Various Sizes of Wine Bottles

large bottlesThose bottles of wine you receive from the wine clubs of Vinesse or through our Cyber Circle offers are what are known in the trade as “750s.”

That’s the standard size for wine bottles, and the 750 is the number of milliliters of wine that the bottle holds. This is true not only for wine made in America, but all over the world — which explains why the metric system is used.

750s come in a variety of shapes, and Champagne bottles weigh more than others because stronger glass is needed since the wine inside is under pressure.

While a vast majority of wine is bottled in 750s, there are other sizes that have been developed over time for various reasons.

Let’s take a look at some of the larger-format bottles:

* Magnum — 1,500 ml., or about 12 glasses

* Jeroboam — 3,000 ml., or about 24 glasses

* Rehoboam — 4,500 mL, or about 36 glasses

* Methuselah (Imperial) — 6,000 ml., or about 48 glasses

* Salmanazar — 9,000 ml., or about 72 glasses

* Balthazar — 12,000 mL, or about 96 glasses

* Nebuchadnezzar — 15,000 mL, or about 120 glasses

* Melchior — 18,000 mL, or about 144 glasses

Only a few estates bottle wine in anything larger than a magnum. Some will use larger bottles by request, and will add the high cost of the larger bottle to the price of the wine. For the most part, larger bottles are earmarked for opening at very, very special occasions.

Bottles also come in three bottle sizes smaller than 750 milliliters:

* 500 ml. — Developed when DUI laws were tightened. The idea was that a couple could share a bottle and still be safe to drive. While a noble notion, the size has not caught on and is rarely seen.

* 375 ml. — Known as “half-bottles,” these are commonly used for sweet dessert wines, since such wines typically are poured in smaller serving sizes. Some wineries also bottle some table wines in this size, which is ideal for people who either don’t want to drink a lot or don’t want to be bothered with safely storing leftover wines.

* 187.5 ml. — Half the size of a half-bottle, it’s also known as a split, and is the size typically served on airplanes.

Here’s a little-known fact: The standard 750-ml. bottle tends to be the best bargain. Both larger bottles and smaller bottles typically cost more on a per-milliliter basis.

One more reason to savor wines from Vinesse…

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