The Magnum Bottle and Other Oversized Wine Bottles

Wine bottles are 750ml; that’s the norm. Why? Because for many centuries, that was the exact amount for an English gallon. Of course, some people say bottles are that size because they contain the precise amount of wine one can enjoy with friends during a meal. What do you think?

Yes, wine bottles come in different shapes and sizes, and we’re talking about them today. If you want to learn more about the world of wine and its secrets, talk to a winemaker during a private winery tour to the Yarra Valley with Chauffeur Drive Melbourne, Yarra Valley. These are fantastic experiences and popular Melbourne tours that will show you the other side of wine — the winemaking side.

What’s the deal with Magnums, anyway?

Purchases of magnum-sized bottles containing two regular bottles, or 1.5 litres have boomed, and it’s easy to see why. The more wine, the better. Right?

Seriously, it’s more convenient for the winemaker, the retailer and the consumer to transport and sell a double-sized bottle instead of two bottles. Interestingly, although a magnum is cheaper to produce than making two regular bottles of wine, magnums are usually more expensive. Why? Because they’re a beauty, they add a WOW factor to any get-together, and that’s worth paying a premium for them.

Wine Ages Better in Magnums

Once the wine is bottled, it starts ageing. Some wines might have long lives ahead, but most will be at their peak in just a couple of years. Oversized bottles, though, are gentler with the wine inside, since the wine is less exposed to the tiny amounts of oxygen trapped inside the bottle’s neck.

Wine ages slower and steadier inside a magnum which is why many collectors prefer oversized bottles for their cellars. Sure, Magnums are a bit harder to store in a tight cellar, but if the wine is more comfortable inside a big bottle, then it’s worth the hassle.

Magnums Are Just the Tip of The Iceberg

Magnum bottles contain two regular bottles of wine, but they’re not the largest bottles around by a long shot.

  • Double magnums contain 3 litres or 4 standard bottles. That’s 24 glasses.
  • The Jeroboam contains 4.5 litres or 6 standard bottles. That’s 36 glasses.
  • An Imperial bottle contains 6 litres or 8 standard bottles. That’s 48 glasses.
  • The Salmanazar contains 9 litres, or 12 standard bottles, or 72 glasses.
  • A Balthazar contains 12 litres or 16 standard bottles: that’s 96 glasses.
  • A Nebuchadnezzar contains 15 litres or 20 standard bottles: that’s a whopping 120 glasses!

The next time you want to put together a wine party, forget about buying wine cases; buy an oversized bottle! That’s a night to remember!

If you want to get large bottles, chances are you’ll have to know someone in high places, and your safest bet is going to the source. Take a private winery tour to Yarra Valley and talk to the people in charge. Grape growers and winemakers in the Yarra Valley will undoubtedly be able to hook you up with something special.

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