Bottle Sizes

Bottle shapes have a great deal to do with region and wine making history and it’s surprisingly interesting!

If you’ve got a wine friend who likes to show off about how much they know about wine ask them this the next time you see them:

How many different bottles shapes can you name and what do they look like?

Bottle Sizes

The table below shows the most commonly used bottle sizes, their names and whether they are specific to a particular region. As a general rule the larger the bottle size, the slower the ageing process and the more complex the wine. Many of the sizes listed are rarely found in the market, and the very large formats need to be requested and bottled specially by the producer. Interestingly, smaller formats are becoming increasingly popular in the market; half bottles are the perfect size for a glass or two with dinner.

Perhaps your wine friends might be able to list the ten or so below but if they’ve only got two or three up their sleeves, you can enjoy filling in the blanks…

  Volume Equivalent
No of Glasses
Best known as a single serving of Champagne
20/18.75cl ¼ 1
Most commonly found in Bordeaux
Half a standard bottle
37.5cl ½ 3
Commonly used for Tokaj, Sauternes (and other sweet wines) and Sherry. Known as Demie or Pinte in Champagne
50cl ¾ 4
Unique to ‘Vin Jaune’ and, history has it, came about because it was the volume of liquid that was left after the wine had completed its obligatory six years and three months of cask ageing.
62cl ¾ 5
The standard wine bottle size
75cl 1 6
Perhaps the most impressive bottle to serve at a dinner party; being so visually impressive and generous looking!
150cl 2 12
Also known as a tregnum or Tappit Hen this is about the same height as a standard 75cl bottle but with a greater circumference in the body and a thicker neck. Hardly seen these days as the size and shape would require careful handling and specific storage.
225cl 3 18
Double Magnum
Known as a Jéroboam when used for Champagne and Burgundy
300cl 4 24
Named after the first king of Israel.
450cl 6 36
Used for Champagne and Burgundy. Named after Rehoboam, son of Solomon and King of Judah.
450cl 6 36
Used for Bordeaux wines.
600cl 8 48
Champagne & Burgundy. Named after Methuselah, the son of Enoch and the grandfather of Noah.
600cl 8 48
Named after Shalmanese, the biblical king of Assyria from 727 to 722 BC.
900cl 12 72
Named after Balthazar, one of the three wise men.
1,200cl 16 96
Named after a king of Babylon
1,500cl 20 120
Named after another of the three wise men.
1,800cl 24 136
Named after a biblical, king of Israel, the Son of David
2,000cl 26.6 156
Reportedly created by Taittinger in 1988 for the launch of the then world's largest cruise liner Sovereign of the Seas
2,550cl 33 196
A rare Italian bottle size
2,625cl 35 210
Also known as a Goliath or Paramount
2,700cl 36 216
Named after Melchizedek or Midas - a Biblical King of Salem
3,000cl 40 240