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We’re going to need a bigger bottle or Why size matters…

We’re going to need a bigger bottle or Why size matters…

From the charming little split or quarter bottle to the colossal Nebuchadnezzar, wine is bottled and transported in a dizzying array of sizes and shapes.  Though when it comes to browsing our aisles for that perfect bottle of wine, most of us veer towards for the standard 750ml bottle. However, sometimes going for that bigger bottle is the better option and is certainly more efficient and entertaining whenever we are able to safely entertain friends and family again.  The standard bottle size we know is historically about the same size as the first bottles produced, this size was determined by the glassblower’s lungs capacity.

The next size up from the standard bottle would be a Magnum, this is 1500ml (double the standard bottle size). Find our magnum range here.  With summer approaching, BBQ’S being ignited, and small gatherings permitted, it is the perfect time to open some Rosé.  At JN Wine we have been busy; working in collaboration with Château Vignelaure and local artist Kathryn Callaghan we have just launched the Ode to Joy Rosé Going for the extra size has many benefits, not just the theatrical display purposes:

  • Perfect size for gatherings of as little as four people.
  • The aging process takes longer therefore the wine will mature more slowly, gracefully and predictably, especially important for wines with long lives in the cellar ahead. 
  • It always adds a sense of celebration to any occasion especially Champagne.
  • A great centrepiece for the table.  A very popular option at weddings where guests can sign the label.

Conversely, half bottles containing 375ml, are also gaining in popularity.  They allow consumers to enjoy wine variety without the expense of a full bottle purchase.  Interestingly, the wines mature and evolve at a faster rate when bottled in this size as the ratio of wine to air is larger per millilitre of wine. 

Paco Garcia Rioja Crianza


A magnum of wine is just the beginning of the magical world of bottle size. All with an amazing foray of names, the last 4 are named after Biblical kings.

  • Jeroboam (3 litres or 4 standard bottles)
  • Rehoboam (4.5 litres or 6 standard bottles)
  • Methuselah (6 litres or 8 standard bottles) 
  • Salmanazar (9 litres or 12 standard bottles)
  • Balthazar (12 litres or 16 standard bottles)
  • Nebuchadnezzar (15 litres or 20 standard bottles)

Did you know the largest bottle of wine ever made held 130 litres and stood at 1.38m tall! It contained 1200 glasses of wine and the empty bottle alone weighed 68kg – imagine trying to get that in your recycling bin.  It was nicknamed the Maximus and was auctioned for charity by Sotheby’s New York in 2004. 

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