If you thought that wine came in a bottle and that was the end of it, you’d be wrong. There are times when a single bottle of wine just isn’t enough. But why open an extra bottle when you could have a bigger bottle to begin with?
Wine bottles range in size from the humble to the mighty. A half-bottle might be perfect for a picnic lunch, but for a magnificent party you may need a Magnum – a double bottle. Need something more impressive? What about a Jeroboam? Or a Salmanazar?
We’ve created a handy wine bottle size guide to show you just how big they can get. The names can vary depending on whether the bottle is a Champagne, Bordeaux or Burgundy-style bottle.
And how does all that stack up? How many glasses do you get from a bottle of wine?
These bottles were named for kings with seriously cool names.
Jeroboam was the first king of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, and his name means ‘he increases the people’. This is sometimes called a Double Magnum in Bordeaux, where (confusingly) Jeroboam is used to denote a 4.5L bottle.
Rehoboam was the son of King Solomon, and his name means ‘he who enlarges the people’.
Methusulah wasn’t a king, but according to the Old Testament of the Bible, he was the oldest person to live, clocking in 969 years! Champagne and Burgundy bottles take this name, whereas Bordeaux bottles of this size (8 standard bottles) are called Imperials.
Salmanazar is a variation on Shalmaneser, the name taken by 5 different Assyrian kings between 1274BCE and 727BCE.
Balthazar was one of the Biblical Magi, or Three Kings, celebrated in the nativity of Jesus in Christian tradition. The name may also refer to the Babylonian king Belshazzar, the subject of a Rembrant painting and a cantata by English Composer William Walton.
Nebuchadnezzar is clearly the most awesome of all the names, fitting, as he was also the most powerful of all Babylonian kings. He is said to have been responsible for the construction of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
Melchior was another of the Biblical Magi appearing in the Gospel of Matthew. This bottle size (24 standard bottles) is sometimes called a Solomon, King of Israel and son of David.
Topping all of these is the frankly ridiculous Melchizedek, the Biblical king of Salem. It’s a Champagne format which weighs in at 30 litres, equivalent to 40 standard bottles, and holding 240 glasses-worth of wine. If you can pour it, you’re welcome to it.
If you fancy a larger bottle for your next dinner party, check out some of these impressive bottles on majestic.co.uk.