The chart below expresses the sizes of various wine bottles in multiples relating to a standard bottle of wine, which is 0.75 litres.
|Bottle Name||Name's Origin||Champagne||Bordeaux||Burgundy||Volume|
|Equivalent standard bottles|
|Piccoloa||"Small" in Italian||¼||n/a||n/a||0.1875|
|Chopine||Traditional French unit of volume||n/a||⅓||n/a||0.250|
|Demib||"Half" in French||½||½||½||0.375|
|Jenniec||"White Spirit" in Welsh||n/a||n/a||n/a||0.5|
|Fifthe||One-fifth of a U.S. gallon||n/a||n/a||n/a||0.757|
|Jeroboam||Biblical, First king of Northern Kingdom||4||6||4||3.0/4.5|
|Rehoboam||Biblical, First king of separate Judea||6||n/a||6||4.5|
|Methuselah||Biblical, Oldest Man||8||n/a||8||6.0|
|Salmanazar||Biblical, Assyrian King||12||n/a||12||9.0|
|Balthazar||Early Christian folklore, one of the Wise Men||16||16||16||12.0|
|Nebuchadnezzar||Biblical, King of Babylon||20||20||20||15.0|
|Melchior||Early Christian folklore, one of the Wise Men||24||24||24||18.0|
|Solomon||Biblical, King of Israel, Son of David||28||n/a||n/a||20.0|
|Melchizedek||Biblical and other middle-east religions||40||n/a||n/a||30.0|
a Also known as a quarter bottle, pony, snipe or split.
b Also known as a half bottle.
c Also known as a 500ml bottle. Used for Tokaj, Sauternes, Jerez, as well as several other types of sweet wines.
d Primarily used for vin jaune.
e For many years, the U.S. standard (non-metric) wine and liquor bottle was the "fifth", meaning one-fifth of a U.S. gallon, or 25.6 U.S. fluid ounces, or approximately 757ml. Some beverages also came in half-gallon and one-gallon sizes. In 1979, the U.S. adopted the metric system for wine bottles, with the basic bottle becoming 750ml, as in Europe.
f Also known as a Tregnum or Tappit Hen in the port wine trade.
Many North and South American, South African, and Australasian wine producers select the bottle shape they wish to associate their wines with. For instance, a producer who believes his wine is similar to Burgundy may choose to bottle his wine in Burgundy-style bottles.
Other producers (both in and out of Europe) have chosen idiosyncratic bottle styles for marketing purposes. Pere-Anselme markets its Châteauneuf-du-Pape in bottles that appear half-melted. The Moselland company of Germany has a riesling with a bottle in the shape of a house cat.
The home wine maker may use any bottle, as the shape of the bottle does not affect the taste of the finished product. The sole exception is in producing sparkling wine, where thicker-walled bottles should be used to handle the excess pressure.
The traditional colors used for wine bottles are:
Glass is a relatively heavy packing material and wine bottles use quite thick glass, so the tare weight of a full wine bottle is a relatively high proportion of its gross weight. This has led to suggestions that wine should be exported in bulk from producer regions and bottled close to the market. This would reduce the cost of transportation and its carbon footprint, and provide a local market for recycled green glass. Less radically, box wine is sold in large-size light cardboard and foil containers; though its use is restricted to cheaper products.
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