25/08/2015 ToroWine

Wine bottle evolution and size

The bottle is the way the wineries have to introduce their wine to the consumers, a really important item. This container is generally made of glass and its design and features make some wines age in the bottle and others are bottled after their aging in casks. 

However after the creation of the common bottle, the container has lived an evolution through history until it took the shape we know at present. We go back to ancient Rome, where the wine container was conspicuous by its absence and this was stored on animals’ skin or flask. The final target was actually reached, as the skin was perfectly joined in order to prevent the wine leaking out of it but there was a big issue: wine properties were altered due to temperature and many sudden climate changes. We can find the “bota bag” in Spain making an allusion to the skin used as a container.

Flasks, barrels, amphorae would be progressively replaced with glass. Although the use of glass is set back much time before there is no evidence of its use as wine storage until XV century. With the use of glass the transport, maintenance and preservation difficulties of wine are solved.

Today the wine bottle capacity is measured, as many other liquids, in liters or other capacity measurements equivalent to the liter.

The most common format is 75 cl. except some special sizes made for promotional purposes or to be served in planes, trains, celebration gifts… where the size saving matters. Bigger sizes offer different traces and are suitable for bars, high turnout restaurants and also designed to wine collectors.

The most famous bottles are usually commercialized in sales stores and gastronomic venues, half bottle of 37.5 cl. and 75 cl. bottle but not so well-known sizes do also exist.

Table according to capacities and names of wine bottles:

  • Half Bottle (Demi) 0.375 L – 37,5 cl.
  • Standard 0.750 L. – 75 cl.
  • Magnum (2 bottles) 1.5 L. – 37,5 cl.

Going up from here there are some formats less known due to their transport and sales difficulties such as:

  • Jeroboam (Double Magnum) 3 L. – 300 cl.
  • Rehoboam (six bottles) 4,5 L. – 450 cl.
  • Methuselah (eight bottles) 6 L. – 600 cl.
  • Salmanazar (twelve bottles) 9 L. – 900 cl.
  • Balthazar (sixteen bottles) 12 L. – 1200 cl.
  • Nebuchadnezzar (twenty bottles) 15 L. – 1500 cl.

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