The Meaning of Wine Bottle Sizes
Curiously, the historic convention for naming wine bottle sizes is after biblical kings!
As with many parts of the aesthetics of wine, nomenclature for wine bottle formats reconnects us to the structures of wine culture. Wine has long been a living part of our history and day-to-day lives, and so unsurprisingly the bottle names are connected to one of our oldest written documents.
To be fair, no one really knows how this convention started for sure. We could do some “research” and see if the answer can be found at the bottom of six liter (aka “imperial”). I bet you we’d discover something.
Below is a list of wine bottle sizes and their names.
Wine Bottle Sizes Chart
187.5 ml Piccolo or Split: Typically used for a single serving of Champagne.
375 ml Demi or Half: Holds one-half of the standard 750 ml size.
750 ml Standard: Common bottle size for most distributed wine.
1.5 L Magnum: Equivalent to two standard 750 ml bottles.
3.0 L Double Magnum: Equivalent to two Magnums or four standard 750 ml bottles.
4.5 L Jeroboam: Equivalent to six standard 750 ml bottles. (In sparkling wines a Jeroboam is 3 liters)
4.5 L Rehoboam: A sparkling wine bottle with six standard 750 ml bottles.
6.0 L Imperial: (aka Methuselah) Equivalent to eight standard 750 ml bottles or two Double Magnums.
9.0 L Salmanazar: Equivalent to twelve standard 750 ml bottles or a full case of wine!
12.0 L Balthazar: Equivalent to sixteen standard 750 ml bottles or two Imperials.
15.0 L Nebuchadnezzar: Equivalent to twenty standard 750 ml bottles.
18.0 L Solomon: (aka Melchoir) Equivalent to twenty four standard 750 ml bottles.
Facts about wine bottle sizes
- Box wine is commonly 3 liters or a double magnum size
- Rehoboam in terms of Champagne bottles is only 4.5 litres or 6 bottles.
- Methuselah is the same size as an Imperial (6 litres) but the name is usually used for sparkling wines in a Burgundy-shaped bottle