Know Your Champagne Sizes | www.drinks.ng

Introduction. 

The standard Champagne bottle contains 75cl of Champagne, offering approximately six to eight glasses of champagne depending on our glass or flute size, but we might want to go with a bigger bottle at a special event. Large champagne bottles are named after biblical figures and are filled with champagne which has been fermented in standard bottles or magnums. Champagne houses tend to choose their brut champagne to create their full range of sizes from the smallest 20cl to a 15 litre bottle. Rosé champagnes are also available in a bigger bottle but rarely go beyond a champagne magnum. We’ve put together a full guide on the various known sizes and all you need to know about them.

Their sizes and names.

SIZE IN LITRES NO. OF BOTTLES TRADITIONAL NAME
0.1875 or 0.2 litres

Quarter bottle

Quart
0.375 litres

Half bottle

Demi
0.75 litres

1

Bottle
1.5 litres

2

Magnum
3 litres

4

Jéroboam
4.5 litres

6

Réhoboam
6 litres

8

Methusaleh
9 litres

12

Salmanazar
12 litres

16

Balthazar
15 litres

20

Nebuchadnezzar
18 litres

24

Solomon
26.25 litres

35

Sovereign
27 litres

36

Primat
30 litres

40

Melchizedek

Know Your Champagne Sizes | www.drinks.ng

Some sources offering information on champagne sizes don’t include the Réhoboam in their list, claiming it no longer exists for champagne, though other sources list it.The Solomon has proved the most controversial to pinpoint accurately. Some sources state it at 18 litres / 24 bottles, while others sources have it variously at 20 litres /26.6 bottles, or 21 litres / 28 bottles. The Sovereign is listed with some sources as 34 bottles, but direct communication with Taittinger – possibly the only producer to use this size – confirms it at 35 bottles. The Primat size is listed with some sources as the above, but is missing from some other lists. Part of the confusion arises because there are no specific rules for the larger formats as they are mostly created for special occasions. 

Larger sizes may be named after ancient kings of Israel as a tribute to the figures, but it’s hard to ignore how cleverly appropriate the names are. For instance, the Methusaleh is named after a Jewish patriarch who was said to have lived nearly a thousand years, which may be a playful statement on the aging potential for a wine in a bottle that big. The Balthazar is the named after a Babylonian king who drank some wine from holy chalices in a temple, incurring God’s wrath. He lost power to the Persians soon after, while partying. This might be a reminder of what can unravel as we’re getting to the bottom of a bottle that big.

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