The 75 cl bottle comes with your aperitifs and your meals, its format stands easily on your Sunday table. But there are much bigger bottle sizes. If the Magnum format is well-known, have you already heard of the Balthazar or Nabuchodonosor bottles ?
Also read : How to store your wine ?
Often named after characters from the Bible or antique oriental Kings, the origin of their designation remains quite mysterious. But who are these characters, who gave their name to bottle formats ?
Where do bottle format’s names come from ?
The « fillette » size : coming from Paris, the fillette (small bottle) is the third of a Parisian pint, that is to say around 31cl. Theoretically, two fillettes would give one demoiselle.
The double Magnum or Jéroboam : Jéroboam (930-910 B.C.) is the first sovereign of the Kingdom of Israel. He is proclaimed King by the ten tribes that rose up against Réhoboam.
Imperial : It is one of the rarest formats. The bottle is perfect for over ten-year-old wines. The imperial can be called Mathusalem, name of the Bible patriarch who lived for more than 700 years.
Salmanazar : this bottle has five godfathers as it is the number of Assyrian kings who had this name. Salmanazar III is the most famous of them, known for being a great builder.
Balthazar : It is supposed to refer to one of the Three Kings bringing presents to the Newborn. It was also the name of the last King of Babylone (539 B.C.).
Nabuchodonosor : the format of this bottle pays tribute to the greatest King of Babylone (605 to 562 B.C.). Under his reign, the city of Babylone has become spectacular.
Melchior : It is one of the Three Kings who came to worship the Christ Child.
There are other bottle formats. The Souverain, for example, containing 26 litres of wine, was created by the house Taittinger on the occasion of the baptism of the world biggest liner, the « Sovereign of the sea ».
The world’s biggest bottle of wine
Does the Melchior bottle impress you ? You should be aware that a bottle of wine with this extraordinary size is registered in the Guinness World Records. One of its kind, it weights 630kg and can contain 640 bottles of 75cl. It is the owner of the restaurant Gasthaus Zum Gupf, in Switzerland, who thought of its shape. It protects 480 litres of an exceptional sweet wine.
Identify the wine-producing region thanks to the shape of the bottle
Slender, rounded or angular, each great wine-producing region has its proper shape of bottle. What is the shape of Bordeaux, Bourgogne or Côtes du Rhone bottles ?