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What’s a Methuselah?

14 Sep What’s a Methuselah?

Yes, size matters…in wine bottles!  At the Wine Shoppe we love large format bottles!  Check out this 3L and 6L pair of Hourglass Blueline Cabernet bottles that just arrived.  They are going to be the centerpiece of a really fun party in the Mid-State very soon!

So did you know that a 6L is called a Methuselah?  And a 12L is called a Balthazar.  Curiously, the historic convention for naming large wine bottle sizes is after biblical kings!  To be fair, no one really knows how this convention started for sure.  As with many parts of the aesthetics of wine, nomenclature for wine bottles reconnects us to the structures of wine culture.  Wine has long been a living part of our history and everyday lives, so it’s a clever connection to our past that bottle sizes are named after heroes from our oldest written documents.  Here is the full list of 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.

500ml Jennie:  2/3rds of a standard 750 ml.

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.  Note:  The standard size for box wines is 3L but no ever calls a Box a Double Magnum!

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.

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