wine bottles


Since 1979, metric standards have been in use in the United States and the standard wine bottle size was set at 750 milliliters (ml) or approximately 25.4 ounces, which is almost exactly equivalent to an American fifth (4/5 of a quart or 25.6 ounces). In answer to the stricter driving/alcohol limits in many U.S. states, the wine industry recently introduced a new 500-ml bottle size, which is 2/3 of a standard bottle. In France's beaujolais area a 500-ml bottle (which they call a pot) has long been used. In the United States, other legal bottle sizes include 50 ml, 100 ml, 187 ml, 375 ml, 1 liter, 1.5 liter and 3 liter. Wine may also be bottled in sizes larger than 3 liters if the capacity is in even liter sizes—4 liters, 5 liters, 6 liters, etc. Other bottle terminology, although not legally defined in the United States, is still sometimes used in wine circles. These terms, which include French bottle descriptions and approximate bottle sizes, are: split—equivalent to 187 ml or 1/4 of a standard wine bottle; half bottle—375 ml; magnum—1.5 liters/2 standard bottles; double magnum—3 liters/4 standard bottles (in bordeaux); Jeroboam—3 liters/4 standard bottles (in champagne) or 4.5 liters/6 standard bottles (in Bordeaux); Rehoboam—4.5 liters/6 standard bottles (in Champagne); Methuselah—6 liters/8 standard bottles (in Champagne); Imperial—6 liters/8 standard bottles (in Bordeaux); Salmanazar—9 liters/12 standard bottles; Balthazar—12 liters/16 standard bottles; and Nebuchadnezzar—15 liters/20 standard bottles.

From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.

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