The Different Sizes of Wine Bottles


Curious about Wine Bottle Sizes?

Journey into the captivating world of wine bottle sizes, from the quaint Quarter Bottle to the majestic Melchizedek. Explore the intriguing history and significance behind each pour, whether you’re a seasoned wine connoisseur or simply curious about the diverse dimensions of wine. Along the way, we’ll also discover options to create the perfect wine storage solutions for different size bottles, including modular wine cellar kits, basement wine cellar, and wine cellar installation, tailored to your taste and space. So, let’s raise a glass and dive into the fascinating realm of wine bottle sizes and the art of preserving your cherished collection.

History of Bottle Sizes

The extensive range of wine bottle sizes has its roots in the early to mid 1700s when it was discovered that cork acted as a sealing agent, allowing wine to age and not spoil. Larger bottles allow wine to age over longer periods of time, and are therefore particularly suited to longer aging wines, such as Bordeaux.

Larger bottles let the wine develop a more nuanced flavour and a deeper complexity than a smaller wine bottle, resisting temperature changes more easily. Bigger wine bottles require specialised racking with wider spacing for safer storage, and serve to give a home a distinguished look.

Every bottle has a name, commonly biblically inspired. The most unique Champagne bottle size, however, earned the eponymous nickname, The Winston Churchill, after the Wartime Prime Minister. It held precisely 20 ounces (around 570ml), the amount of Champagne the famous statesman considered perfect in the morning.


Quarter Bottle, Half Bottle, Standard Bottle, Magnum

The Quarter Bottle, also known as Piccolo, holds 187ml of wine; it’s the equivalent to a quarter of a bottle or to a glass of wine. Half Bottle is also called Demi or Split and it is, unsurprisingly, half a bottle of wine, holding 375ml. A Standard bottle holds 750ml and remains the most popular size, while a Magnum is a 1.5 litre bottle, or the size of two standard bottles.


Jeroboam, Rehoboam, Methuselah, Salmanzar

A Jeroboam, or a Double Magnum, holds 3 litres of wine (four bottles), where a Bordeaux Jeroboam holds 5 litres. A Rehoboam holds 4.5 litres (six bottles), a Methuselah holds 6 litres (eight bottles), and a Salmanzar holds 9 litres (twelve bottles).


Balthazar, Nebuchanezzar, Melchior, Solomon

A Balthazar bottle can hold up to 12 litres (16 bottles) while a Nebuchadnezzar holds 15 litres (20 bottles) and weighs around a massive 83.5 pounds. Even more impressive, a Melchior can hold 18 litres (24 bottles) with the Solomon bottles holding 20 litres (26 bottles).


Sovereign, Primat or Goliath, Melchizedek

Towards the end of the wine bottle scale is the Sovereign bottle, which can hold a staggering 25 litres (33.3 bottles). Although, not to be beaten, and while much rarer, a Primat or Goliath weighs 143 pounds and can hold 27 litres (36 bottles).

Finally, right at the end of the wine bottle size scale, a Melchizedek is the king of all wine bottles, holding a fantastic 30 litres (40 bottles).As you can imagine, these wine bottle giants require a specialised cellar; the Melchizedek stands at an impressive 4 feet tall and can serve 240 glasses of wine, and can be worth £4,000.

The most used bottles are the Bordeaux bottle – with tall shoulders, straight sides, and deep punt – and the Burgundy bottle – wider than Bordeaux bottles, with sloping shoulders and a deep punt. However, as discussed, the most popular bottle remains the Standard, mirroring the 750ml Bordeaux bottle.

While your cellar is more likely to be filled with the standard bottle, larger sizes are considered to be the perfect accompaniment for a particularly special event. Their collectible and unique nature makes them a rare and special addition to any collection.

Looking to store different wine bottle sizes?

At Spiral Cellars, we take pride in offering an extensive range of exceptional wine cellars, meticulously crafted by our skilled in-house team, to perfectly accommodate your collection. Whether you have standard-sized bottles or special Salmanzar bottles, we have the ideal solution for you. Our bespoke wine cellars are thoughtfully designed to suit your unique needs, while our built-in wine cellars ensure seamless integration into your space.

If you have any questions about the services we provide, contact us on 0203 815 3329 to speak with our highly-trained team. You can also follow our news on our FacebookTwitter, and Google+ pages.

Get in touch


Spiral Cellars Ltd,
The Studio at
7 Devas Road,
SW20 8PD


020 3815 3329