Sunday March 20th, 2022

Throughout history wine has been changing containers for transport and conservation. From the time when the wine was transported in clay amphorae to the daily use of the bottles, many years have passed and other materials such as wood and even animal skins have been carried out, but the concern to keep the wines in an optimal state has made history .

Our ancestors were looking for ways to preserve the wines and discovered the oxygen in the air was one of the most damaging factors for its conservation, although changes in temperature, cleanliness and other elements were also of vital importance in the good state of the wine.

The creation of glass bottles as we know them today is linked to three British characters curiously:

  • In 1620, Robert Mansell, achieved in its ovens a glass resistant to being treated with coal.
  • Kenelm Digby, shortly after, put into operation the first bottles.
  • In 1821, Rikettes, put into operation the first machine to make bottles in series.


The Standard Bottle

What we know as standard bottle has a capacity of 0.75 litres and there are several versions about the reason for existing this measure.

For some, this is the lung capacity of a man. When the bottles were made one by one, manually, it was the amount of air that could be exhausted by the cane to make the bottle.

For others, it refers to what was the ideal amount to consume in a meal for a family in a moderate way.

Based on commercial interests that always surrounded the wine, it is said that this measure is the measure closest to 1/5 of a gallon, measured English and large wine merchants historically.


How many bottle names do you know?

There is a belief that the best quality wine was obtained in standard size bottles, however, there are numerous formats and sizes of bottles. Even, there are those who think that large formats improve the conservation of wine.

It is known by all the standard bottle of 75 cl (750 ml) and is also usual that doubles its capacity, the Magnum, 1.5 litres (1500 ml). If we stop to think we could also be familiar with the Benjamin or the Half Bottle because they are habitual to a certain extent.

However, as we said, there are multiple formats beyond these basic ones. The larger ones receive curious biblical names and kings of antiquity.



Bottle quarter (Piccolo or Benjamin) from 0.1875 to 0.2 1/4
Half bottle (demiboite) 0,375 1/2
Standard 0,75 1
Magnum 1,5 2
Jeroboam 3 4
Rehoboam 4,5 6
Mathuselah 6 8
Salmanazar 9 12
Balthazar 12 16
Nebuchadnezzar 15 20
Melchior (also called Solomon) 18 24
Sovereign 25 33
Primat 27 36
Melchizedek 30 40