The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms formerly recognized 16 bottle sizes for domestic American wine and 27 sizes for imports. That ended on January 1, 1975, when metric sizing was introduced, becoming mandatory on January 1, 1979. Except for “magnum,” the names of the sizes are not allowed to appear on the label.
|New size||Capacity||Corresponds to old size|
|Extra Large||3 liter||jeroboam|
Some of the traditional names for wine bottle sizes are given under champagne, bordeaux, burgundy and port. The larger sizes, especially those with the Biblical names, are mostly a novelty produced in very small numbers.
The traditional sizes of Bordeaux bottles:
|Size||Capacity in bottles
|Impérial (some say called a rehoboam in the U.K.)||about 8 bottles||6|
Rhone wines use the same designations.
|Size||Capacity in bottles|
Courtesy Champagne Drappier.
True champagne is fermented in the bottle. Manipulating a large bottle through the méthode champenoise is very difficult, so most houses ferment in magnums and decant the results into the larger bottles. Drappier actually ferments in the large bottles. Count the number of sizes.
Nowadays champagne is bottled in the same sizes as other wines; in the United States, by order of the federal government. The traditional bottle sizes were:
|Quart||800 mL, the old “bottle of champagne”|
|Magnum||2 bottles||750mL × 2 =
|Jéroboam||4 bottles||750mL × 4 =
|Rehoboam||6 bottles||4.5 liters|
|Methuselah||8 bottles||6 liters|
|Salamanzar||10, sometimes 12 bottles||9 liters|
|Balthazar||16 bottles||12 liters|
|Nebuchadnezzar||20 bottles||15 liters|
|Melchior or Solomon||24 bottles||18 liters|
|Primat||36 bottles||27 liters|
|Tappet hen||3 bottles|
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Last revised: 20 March 2012.