Who would have thought wine bottles came in different sizes and shapes? The standard wine bottle may have the same dimensions.
But, you’ve also got to take into consideration that different wines do come in bottles varying in shape and size. If you’re a collector of wine from around the world, it’s essential to know that bottle dimensions do vary. And, this will have an impact on your storage space.
What’s even more fascinating about wine bottle sizes is that there’s a unique name behind each size. So, when you see or hear the name of a wine bottle, you can equate it to the volume of the bottle. There’s also a valid reason for some bottles being smaller or bigger than others.
With so much to know about wine bottle dimensions and their names, we’ve compiled a full guide for you. Read on to find out what you need to know about wine bottle sizes, their shapes, and names. And, for those who want a quick glance at this information, check out our comparison table.
Why Are There Different Sized Wine Bottles?
You may be wondering why all wines can’t be stored in same-sized bottles. It would make it so much easier to have standard sizes when it comes to storing your favorite wine in your wine rack. But, there’s actually a very good reason for different sized and shaped bottles.
In the 17th century, winemakers discovered larger bottles allowed certain wines to mature over a longer period. This was particularly true for many of the red wines which benefited from aging.
A larger bottle resists temperature changes better, and the wine is able to develop distinctive flavors with a smoother, more complex texture. Wines such as Bordeaux and Burgundy are most suited to bigger bottles.
Champagne producers will argue that bigger is better for a good quality glass of sparkling wine. An expert will tell you that a magnum bottle of Champagne allows less oxidation to take place, giving you a far superior wine. These same experts will tell you that the bigger format allows the wine a longer fermentation period which creates a more complex texture.
The standard wine bottle came about in recent times to standardize the industry’s measurements of these bottles. But while you can expect to find many wines in the standard 750 ml wine bottle, there are still many other wines available in various shaped bottles with different volumes.
Wine Bottle Shapes
The shape of the bottle is also determined by the type of wine being bottled and the regions producing the wines. The bottle shape also influences the dimension or format which impacts the flavor and texture of the wine.
While both the typical Bordeaux and Port wine bottle are straight-sided and high-shouldered, the Bordeaux bottle has a pronounced punt compared to the bulbous neck of the Port. The reason for this is Port has more residue which can be collected in the neck.
The German Schlegel wines are bottled in elongated and slim bottles. Champagnes and other sparkling wines come in wider bottles with sloping shoulders and pronounced punts. Rhine varieties are kept in narrow and tall bottles with very little punt. Many Italian wines such as the Chianti are sold in round-shaped bottles covered in weaved straw.
Burgundy wines are sold in similar bottles to the Rhone varieties. These bottles are tall with sloping shoulders and a much smaller punt than the Bordeaux bottles.
The neck size is mainly standard for most wine bottles, with the inner dimension measuring 18.5 mm at the mouth, expanding to 21 mm before reaching the main bottle.
How Tall is a Wine Bottle?
While knowing volume is essential when you want to know how many glasses of wine you’ll get out of a bottle, you also want to know how tall it is for storing purposes. While the height dimensions of a wine bottle varies, the standard format is approximately 12 inches. A Champagne bottle could be slightly taller at 12.5 inches high.
How Wide is a Wine Bottle?
Another critical size factor is the width of the wine bottle. The most common width dimension ranges between 2. 8 to 3.2 inches with the Champagne bottle being slightly wider at 3.5 inches. The magnum bottle often measures 4 inches in width.
Wine Bottle Dimensions Chart
Use this table to give you a quick overview of the different wine bottle dimensions mentioned in this article.
|Name||Volume||Equivalent to Standard Bottle
|Glasses of wine
|50 cl, Half-Liter, Jennie||500 ml||⅔||3|
|Liter||1 000 ml||1⅓||7|
|Jeroboam||3 L or 4.5 L||4 or 6||20 or 30|
|Primat or Goliath||27 L||36||180|
|Melchizedek or Midas||30 L||40||200|
The Names and Means of Wine Bottle Sizes
It’s believed that the names of most wine bottles, based on their dimensions, come from biblical kings and other famous historical characters. Let’s take a look at these wine bottle names and their sizes.
The Piccolo, meaning “small” in Italian, bottle which measures 187.5 ml. This is the same size as a quarter of a bottle or one glass of wine. This small wine bottle may also be called the following:
- Quarter bottle
The Piccolo or mini-bottle is most commonly used for a single serving of Champagne.
The Demi which means “half” in French is a bottle holding 375 ml of wine. This is equivalent to half a standard bottle size. Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Champagne may be served in the Demi bottles. And, you can easily enjoy 2.5 glasses of wine from this bottle.
50 cl, Jennie, or Half-Liter
Holding 500 ml of wine, the 50 cl bottle, also known as Half-liter or Jennie, is used for sweet wines such as Jerez and Tokaj. Many of the cheaper wines produced in Switzerland are stored in this sized bottle. You can enjoy 3 glasses of wine from the half-liter bottle.
While not named after any king or famous person, the standard is the most familiar size of most wines. This 750 ml bottle gives you five glasses of wine in standard 150 ml (5 fluid ounces) glasses. It’s worth noting that for many years, the U.S. standard wine bottle held 757 ml and was also known as the “fifth” bottle.
The Liter (or liter in Australia) wine bottle is the more popular size for Australian and European wines. The name of this bottle refers directly to its size which is 1-liter and it gives you 7 glasses of wine, making it a good size for a small party.
The Magnum bottle holds 1.5 liters of wine. This would be the same as two bottles of 750 ml wine and is the perfect size when hosting a group of friends. The Magnum bottle is also a good dimension for maturing reds in the cellar over a number of years.
Named after the biblical Northern King, the Jeroboam wine bottle means different sizes depending on the French region it comes from. It either holds 3 liters, which is why it’s sometimes called Double Magnum, or 4.5 liters of wine. Champagne, Burgundies, and Bordeaux wines are often served in this bottle size. The 3 liter bottle will serve 20 glasses of wine while 4.5 liters will give you 30 glasses.
The Rehoboam wine bottle is named after the biblical king of the Kingdom of Judah, the successor to Solomon. This sized bottle is popular for both Champagne, other sparkling wines, and Burgundy wines and holds 4.5 liters, equivalent to 6 standard wine bottles. One Rehoboam bottle will give you 30 glasses of wine.
A patriarch in biblical times, Methuselah was also the oldest man represented in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The Methuselah bottle holds 6 liters of wine which is the same as 8 standard wine bottles. It can also be known as Imperial and gives you up to 40 glasses of wine.
Named after Shalmaneser V, an Assyrian king in 727 BC, the Salmanazar wine bottle holds 9 liters or 12 bottles of wine. This means a whole one case of wine is stored in this one bottle! And, you can serve 60 glasses from this one bottle.
Also known as Belshazzar, the Baltazar wine bottle is named after one the three Wise Men who presented baby Jesus with gifts. This big bottle of wine holds 12 liters or 16 standard wine bottles, which is also equivalent to 80 glasses of wine! A good bottle size for Champagne and other sparkling wines as well as deep aging reds.
This 15 liter wine bottle will give you and your guests 100 glasses of wine. Named after the biblical king of Babylon, the Nebuchadnezzar is excellent for red wines such as Bordeaux and Burgundies. Champagne producers will also use this size wine bottle and its equivalent to 20, 750 ml, bottles. This bottle weighs in at 83.5 pounds!
The Melchior holds 24 standard bottles of wine and serves 120 glasses or 18 liters. It’s named after another of the three Wise Men present at the scene of baby Jesus. And, when filled with Champagne or your favorite reds, will weigh 100 pounds.
Solomon and Sovereign
Both Solomon and Sovereign wine bottles are preferred for storing Champagne and sparkling wines. The Solomon gives you 20 liters of wine or 130 glasses. The Sovereign will give you 26 liters or 175 glasses of wine. While Solomon was named after King David’s son, the Sovereign is more modern after being designed for one of the biggest cruise ships, Sovereign of the Seas.
Primat, also known as Goliath, holds a whopping 27 liters of wine which is equivalent to:
- 36 standard wine bottles
- 3 cases of wine
- 180 glasses of wine
The Primat bottle was named after a Philistine giant in biblical times who was defeated by David.
The Melchizedek wine bottle is also commonly called the Midas bottle. This is the largest wine bottle on the market and holds 30 liters. This means you’re getting 40 standard wine bottles or 200 glasses all from one bottle. Melchizedek is named after the biblical King of Salem.
Do Wine Bottle Sizes Vary in Different Countries?
While Australian and UK wine producers will sell their wines in 1-liter size bottles, their packaging follows the same as other countries. The standard 750 ml wine bottle is the universal size used for most wines worldwide.
Some countries will use centiliters (cl) instead of milliliters (ml) on their wine bottles but it’s more common to see ml than cl. However, if you see a measurement of 75 cl on a bottle of wine know that it refers to the standard 750 ml size.
While the standard 750 ml wine bottle is most commonly seen in supermarkets and wine stores, don’t be surprised to find a variety of shapes and sizes.
There’s a good reason for the larger bottles of reds and why Champagne often comes in the magnum-sized bottle. And, if you’re serious about going really big then look out for names such as Primat or Midas.
Most wine racks can take your standard size wine bottle but if you’re a wine connoisseur who likes to sample a wide variety of wines, make sure your cellar can accommodate the different sizes. You can expect a mini-bottle of only 187.5 ml for a single serving to the 20 liter Solomon which will give you 130 glasses of wine in one bottle.
Wine bottle dimensions do vary vastly and so do their shapes so make sure you know what you’re ordering the next time you go online with your wine club!