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Magnums and large bottles

Why is the standard size of a wine bottle 0.75L?

At the beginning of the industrial era of the 19th century, many French wines were exported to England. But the different units of measurement used in these two countries posed problems at the time of the trade. Imperial gallons here, barrels there... an ordeal!

The people of Bordeaux transported w...

Why is the standard size of a wine bottle 0.75L?

At the beginning of the industrial era of the 19th century, many French wines were exported to England. But the different units of measurement used in these two countries posed problems at the time of the trade. Imperial gallons here, barrels there... an ordeal!

The people of Bordeaux transported wine in barrels containing 225L of wine. On the other side of the Channel, the English, bought wine by "Imperial Gallon" which represents about 4.55L. English merchants in Bordeaux therefore decided to set up a standard measure for the transport and international sale of wine. They had two choices, dividing the barrel into 225 one-litre bottles or 300 0.75-litre bottles. The choice quickly fell on the bottle, as we know it, containing 0.75 l.

In the end, the French could therefore carry the equivalent of 300 bottles in their 225L barrels and the English calculated this as 50 gallons, round figures, it's simpler isn't it?

A little anecdote to finish, one Gallon represents 4.5 litres, and that's why bottles of wine are packed in cartons of 6 bottles (6 x 0.75L = 4.5L)!

Ageing potential

We often talk about a wine's ageing potential, the ability of a wine to age. The ageing potential is influenced by several factors. Above all, the quality of the wine, the tannins, the acidity, the alcohol are many elements that will allow the wine to keep its organoleptic qualities over time. Then, the storage place is very important, the temperature and humidity must be as stable as possible. Finally, the bottle is no less important!

Coming back to our magnums and large bottles, these are much more conducive to ageing the wine due to their large size. In large bottles, the wine has much less contact with oxygen in proportion to a standard bottle, which slows down oxidation. In addition, the significant thickness of the bottle minimises the temperature change of the wine contained within and therefore allows the wine to mature in a more stable manner.

Sizes, names and uses!

What could be more festive than a Magnum of a good red wine? An even bigger bottle!
Did you know that there are more than fifteen different bottle sizes? Well, we are here to list them for you!

Piccolo0.20 litersTwo glasses everywhere or one glass in England
Quarter0.25 litersOne third of a bottle
Half0.375 litersHalf a bottle
Pot0.5 litersA little thirst
Bottle0.75 litersThe famous standard
Magnum1.5 liters2 bt.
Jeroboam or Double Magnum3 liters4 bt.
Réhoboam4.5 liters6 bt. or imperial gallon
Methuselah or Imperial in Bordeaux6 liters8 bt.
Salmanazar9 liters12 bt.
Balthazar12 liters16 bt. or for a wedding
Nebuchadnezzar15 liters20 bt. or one hell of an evening
Salomon or Melchior in Bordeaux18 liters24 bt.
Souvereign26.25 liters35 bt.
Primate27 liters37 bt.
Melchiesedech30 liters124 bt.
Sublime150 liters200 bt., yes it exists!



In the end, it's not the size that counts, but the quality of the wine and especially the people with whom you share this drink full of emotions and pleasures.

Cheers

All the alfavin.ch team

We invite you to visit our other categories such as our special offers, old vintages or our selections in the form of packs

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