The wine bottles: shape and capacity

The wine bottles: shape and capacity

Capacity

The international standard bottle holds 75 cl (or 750 ml). Most of the wine sold in the world is bottled in this format, or one of its multiple. The litter bottle is generally used for ordinary wines.
The half bottle that contains 37.5 cl is very successful in restaurants.
Nowadays 50 centilitres bottles are also available but their distribution remains limited.

Multiples of the standard bottles are all named after the Bible

Bottles

Champagne bottles

Name of the bottle Official capacity 75 cl bottle equivalent
Piccolo 20 cl ± 1/4 bottle
Chopine 25 cl 1/3 bottle
Half, Demi or Fillette 37,5 cl 1/2 bottle
Bottle or Champenoise 75 cl 1 bottle
Magnum 1,5 l 2 bottles
Jeroboam 3 l 4 bottles
Rehoboam 4,5 l 6 bottles
Methuselah 6 l 8 bottles
Salmanazar 9 l 12 bottles
Balthazar 12 l 16 bottles
Nebuchadnezzar 15 l 20 bottles
Melchior 18 l 24 bottles

Bordeaux bottles

Name of the bottle Official capacity 75 cl bottle equivalent
Half, Demi or Fillette 37,5 cl 1/2 bottle
Bottle 75 cl 1 bottle
Magnum 1,5 l 2 bottles
Marie-Jeanne 2,5 l 3 bottles
Double Magnum 3 l 4 bottles
Jeroboam 4,5 l 6 bottles
Imperial 6 l 8 bottles

Port bottles

Name of the bottle Official capacity 75 cl bottle equivalent
Bottle 75 cl 1 bottle
Magnum 1,5 l 2 bottles
Tappit-Hen 3 l 4 bottles
Jeroboam 3 l 4 bottles

The origin of the names given to bottles

Magnum

The Latin word Magnum stands for greatness and magnificence.

Jeroboam

First king of the kingdom of Israel (930-910 BC.). After Solomons death, he was proclaimed king by the 10 northern tribes that had revolted against Roboam. To the Hebrew political schism, he added a religious schism by choosing Dan and Bethel as cult venues.

Rehoboam

King of Juda (v. 930-v. 915) and son of Solomon, his tyrannical government ruling created the schism of the ten northern tribes that founded the kingdom of Israel. He kept dominating the two tribes of Juda and Benjamin.

Methuselah

According to the Bible, patriarch son of Enoch and grandfather of Noe. He would have lived 969 years.

Salmanazar

Name of five sovereigns of Assyria. The most important is Salmanazar The Third.

Balthazar

One of the three Magi. King of Arabia, according to St. Matthew (II, 1-12), he followed the bright star that led him to the cave of Bethlehem to worship the child-King Jesus.

Melchior

One of the three Magi. King of Persia, according to St. Matthew (II, 1-12), he followed the bright star that led him to the cave of Bethlehem to worship the child-King Jesus.

Nebuchadnezzar

King of Babylon (Nebuchadnezzar II) (from 605 to 562 BC.). He conquered Syria and Palestine in 604. He seized Jerusalem several times (between 605 and 587), and deported the Jewish population (Babylons captivity, 586-538), and submitted Tyr in 573.

The different shapes of bottles

The bottle becomes common as early as the 18th century. Bottle usage considerably increased once it was realised that wine was better preserved in bottle rather than jugs or on the dregs.

Different shapes of bottles

The Burgundian

With its reducing shoulders and its bellied look, it is globally spread. Almost all great white and red wines from Burgundy use the dead leaf bottle.

The Ligérienne

A variant of the Burgundian, the "Muscadet" is more elegant and finer with the name of the Named Controlled origin engraved at the bottom. The Anjou, sometimes engraved with the regional arms, has multiple variants depending on the wine maker or trader.

The Provencal

For the Ctes de Provence, the "flute with corset" for the wine makers and the "cote de Provence" for traders. Many variants exist.

The Champenoise

The champenoise is the most widely used bottle. Some brands still use the 18th century shape of bottle.

The Rhôdanienne

The "rhdanienne" bear the Ctes du Rhne engraving on its shoulder. When it is bottled in its area of production, the Chateauneuf du Pape is entitled to a bottle embossed with the pontifical seal.

The Alsatian Flute

The Alsatian Flute is the only bottle that is protected by a decree since 1955.

The clavelin

Specific to the Jura, the 62 centilitres clavelin represents what is left of a litter of yellow wine after 6 years in a barrel.

The Bordelaise

Originally the Bordelaise was conical. It became cylindrical to strengthen it and make it easier to manufacture. A southerner bottle that is also called frontignan in Bordeaux. It is available worldwide.
Some vintages and traders use an older version, even or a bottle engraved with a shield.

 
Photo Credits : piekes (SXC)
 
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