This guide to wine bottle sizes has evolved from my current project focused on upcycling the bottles of favourite wines to create beautiful things from something that would otherwise be thrown away. We received lots of amazing large format bottles and so I decided to find out more about them. Bottles from different regions tend to have different shapes. Firstly there is the classic tall Bordeaux. Then the rounder Burgundy bottle. I love the distinctive embossing on bottles of Chateauneuf du Pape and on the elegant Picpoul de Pinet Neptune. However, what interests me most are the large format bottles.
Larger wine bottles look impressive and they can also change the taste of the wine. In a larger wine bottle less of the wine is in contact with oxygen and therefore it ages more slowly. This means it has the potential to develop more complexity than wines aged in standard sized bottles. This is ideal for the finest wines and we’ve collected some incredible bottles from Bordeaux, the Northern Rhone, Burgundy, Italy and Spain. A few years ago we designed a glass cloth which gives a guide to all the different champagne bottle sizes and their names. I didn’t realise at the time that large format bottles from other regions don’t always use these names. Here is a guide to the key differences.
Your Guide to Wine Bottle Sizes
- Standard Bottle contains 75cl. You will get 6 standard glasses. Use our wine measure tool to make sure you do.
- Magnum contains 1.5l or two standard bottles. It’s considered the perfect format for ageing and, I think, for parties. We have partnered up with The Magnum Company who offer a great range of wine in this fabulous size.
- A 3 litre bottle is known as a Jeroboam in Burgundy and Champagne. Elsewhere this two magnum size is known as a Double Magnum. However, in Bordeaux the term Jeroboam is used for a bottle containing 5 litres.
- I hope you’re not getting too confused because the 6 litre bottle size also goes by two different names. Imperial in Bordeaux and Methuselah in Burgundy and Champagne.
- The largest format available in Burgundy is the Methuselah. Elsewhere the bottles can get even bigger. There is the Salmanazar (9 litres), Balthazar (12 litres), Nebuchadnezzar (15 litres) and finally, the 18-litre Melchior, equivalent to 24 standard bottles of wine.
If you are planning on buying wines to lay down then it is certainly worth considering investing in larger format bottles. The smaller surface to air ratio not only makes the wine age more slowly it also means you can age it for longer. These bottles look so impressive on the table. A real ‘wow’ factor. And then when you have finished your bottle don’t throw it away. Get in touch with us and we can create a bespoke lamp for your home.