What the sizes and names of wine bottles?

Wine Bottles come in a range of sizes and shapes, they are largely standardized to the range listed below. However wine producers can bottle their wines in any size and shape of bottle that they choose. The names of the bottles tells a story of their origin or can be named after biblical characters. 

The twelve standard sizes of wine bottle range from just 187ml to 18 litres. Currently there is legislation in the European Union that sets a limit of 10 litres for still wine and 9 litres for sparkling wines though this is not a global limitation.


For Wine Bottles up to 3 litres they are named after the region that they were most common or are simply named after their sizes. Larger bottles that are over 3 litres are named after biblical figures. The origin of this convention appears to come from a French tradition, The region of Champagne adopted the Jeroboam size and followed suit with larger format bottles developed in the 1940’s, continuing the practice of selecting biblical kings and patriarchs. 


Piccolo or Split: 187.5ml A bottle commonly used for single serves in convenience, travel and hospitality sectors


Demi or Half: 375 ml Equivalent to a half a standard wine bottle


Standard wine bottle: 750 ml The bottle that you will most commonly find on the shelves of your local wine retailer, usually either in the Bordeaux or Burgundy style bottle. 


Magnum: 1.5 litres Holds the equivalent of two standard wine bottles, Magnum means Big or Great and is of Latin origin.


Double Magnum: 3 litres Equals the capacity of four standard wine bottles


Jéroboam: 4.5 litres Holds six standard bottles of still wine. For sparkling wine a Jéroboam usually has the capacity of a Double Magnum and a 4.5-litre bottle for champagne and sparkling wine is called Rehoboam.


Impériale: 6 litres Contains eight standard bottles of still wine. Its equivalent in sparkling wine is called Methuselah


Salmanazar: 9 litres Equivalent to 12 standard bottles


Balthazar: 12 litres Equivalent to 16 standard bottles


Nebuchadnezzar: 15 litres Equivalent to 20 standard bottles


Solomon: 18 litres Equivalent to 24 standard bottles

Bottle Sizes