You must have seen champagne bottles of various sizes, but did you know that these bottles have Biblical names, which are assigned to them in accordance to their size.
Champagne comes in various sized bottles, ranging from a Piccolo, with 0.1875 L of champagne, to Sovereign, with 23.648 L of the same. While everybody is familiar with thick, glass bottles of champagne with a pronounced punt and sloping shoulders, not many people know much about various sizes in which these bottles are available. No wonder, people get fascinated when they see sportsmen open those gigantic champagne bottles during their celebrations.
Champagne Bottle Sizes and Names
Most often, champagne is fermented in bottles of two sizes, the Standard (750 mL bottle) and Magnum (1.5 L bottle). This is bound to come as a surprise for many, as most of the wines are fermented in huge tanks before filling them in bottles. Actually, the second fermentation of champagne, which gives it the characteristic fizz, is done in bottles itself. After fermenting the champagne in the Standard and Magnum bottles, it is filled in other bottles of various sizes. These bottles sport a pressure of 80 – 90 psi within. Though the Standard bottle of champagne is 750 mL, even smaller bottles, like Piccolo (0.1875 mL) and Demi (0.375 mL), are available.
Interestingly, these large bottles of champagne are given Biblical names. Though it is difficult to trace the exact period when this naming tradition came into being, it is assumed that these names were given in order to highlight their importance.
In the table given below, we have provided the Biblical names of these bottles, volume of champagne in them, their weight, and compared them with a Standard bottle.
|Bottle Name||Standard Bottles||Volume in Liters||Weight in Ounces|
|Magnum||2 bottles||1.478 L||52 oz|
|Jeroboam||4 bottles||2.956 L||104 oz|
|Rehoboam||6 bottles||4.434 L||156.52 oz|
|Methuselah||8 bottles||5.912 L||208.69 oz|
|Salmanazar||12 bottles||8.868 L||313.04 oz|
|Balthazar||16 bottles||11.824 L||417.39 oz|
|Nebuchadnezzar||20 bottles||14.780 L||521.73 oz|
|Melchior||24 bottles||18.000 L||608.65 oz|
|Sovereign||34 bottles||23.648 L||834.77 oz|
Even though Sovereign―at 23.648 L―is the largest bottle mentioned in the table above, bottles larger than it, are also available on demand. Being large in size, these bottles have intense pressure and hence, one needs to exercise caution when opening them. More recently, various champagne manufacturers have realized that the transfer of champagne from small bottles to large ones after fermentation, hampers its quality. Thus, the second fermentation of this champagne is also done in large bottles in these companies.
Some experts are of the opinion that the champagne from large bottles is not at par with the same in standard bottles. That though, seldom dampens the spirits, as we know that these large bottles are actually meant to celebrate certain memorable events in our life.