From the adorable little split to the herculean Nebuchadnezzar, wine is bottled in a dizzying assortment of differently sized vessels. Not only does each hold a different volume of wine, but they also have cool names derived from biblical kings and other historical figures.
Large-format bottles tend to age more gracefully, as they have less oxygen exposure. Of course, these colossal trophy bottles also deliver grandeur and bring the “wow” factor to dinner parties. So whether you want a single pour of Prosecco or to host a party for 200 of your closest friends, there’s a bottle for every occasion.
Check out our cheat sheet for wine bottle sizes, the stories behind their names, and how many glasses of wine are in each bottle.
Split or Piccolo
Size: 187.5 ml, holds ¼ standard bottle or 1 glass of wine
The ideal single-serve bottle, used almost exclusively for sparkling wines.
Half or Demi
Size: 375 ml, holds ½ standard bottle or 2.5 glasses of wine
Half of a standard 750-ml bottle, this size is a lovely option to share a healthy glass of something special with another person.
Half-liter or Jennie
Size: 500 ml, holds ⅔ standard bottle or 3 glasses of wine
Size: 750 ml, holds 1 standard bottle or 5 glasses of wine
Old faithful. This standard bottle equates to approximately five 5-ounce glasses of wine.
Size: 1 L, holds 1⅓ standard bottles or 7 glasses of wine
These deliver more bang for your buck and have grown in popularity in recent years, particularly with value European wines.
Size: 1.5 L, holds 2 standard bottles or 10 glasses of wine
A collector’s choice for cellaring ageworthy reds, magnums also excel at making a visual splash at parties.
Jeroboam or Double Magnum
Size: 3 L, holds 4 standard bottles or 20 glasses of wine
When one magnum just won’t do, the Jeroboam brings twice the volume. It’s named for the first biblical king of the northern kingdom of Israel .
Rehoboam (Jeroboam in Bordeaux)
Size: 4.5 L, holds 6 standard bottles or 30 glasses of wine
Another reference to a biblical king, Rehoboam was the son of Solomon and grandson of David (of David and Goliath fame). These bottles are used primarily by big Champagne houses for larger quantities of sparkling wine.
Methuselah or Imperial (Bordeaux)
Size: 6 L, holds 8 standard bottles or 40 glasses of wine
The name of this format can refer to either an Imperial gallon or the oldest man in the Bible. Most just consider it a party in a bottle.
Size: 9 L, or 12 standard bottles or 60 glasses of wine
Named after an Assyrian king, this oversized format houses a full case of wine in a single bottle.
Size: 12 L, or 16 standard bottles or 80 glasses of wine
Balthazar, one of the Three Wise Men, would obviously have been smart enough to present a gift of 16 bottles of wine in one vessel.
Size: 15 L, holds 20 standard bottles or 100 glasses of wine
Size: 18 L, holds 24 standard bottles or 120 glasses of wine
Holding 24 standard bottles (or two cases) of wine and tipping the scales at almost 100 pounds, you might need some help carrying this down to the cellar. Named for the oldest of the biblical Magi.
Size: 20 L, holds 26 standard bottles or 130 glasses of wine
Named after the son of King David, rumor has it that Solomon would only enjoy his Cabernet out of this 26-bottle behemoth.
Size: 26 L, or 35 standard bottles or 175 glasses of wine
Primat or Goliath
Size: 27 L, or 36 standard bottles or 180 glasses of wine
Could a bottle that can hold three cases of wine be called anything else but Goliath, the giant defeated by young David?