Champagne Bottle Sizes – A Guide

The Champagne we sell comes in the standard size, and to see our options please click HERE.

Champagne Sizes

When it comes to a bottle of Champagne, size matters. In this article you will find out more about the various bottle sizes that a Champagne bottle could be made from, and a bit of information about the history behind the certain sizes of bottles of Champagne. There will also be some information about wines from different regions, including California wine, Bordeaux wine and Rhone wine. The largest bottle that exists is 40 times the size of a standard Champagne bottle we provide, imagine the party you would have with that.

Varied Bottle Sizes

Both wine and fine Champagnes comes in a huge array of bottle types, some may be full bodied, others light, while others may have an intense character. When it comes to the bottle shape and size for a bottle of Champagne the sizes can vary quite drastically. It wasn’t until the early or mid 1700’s that the size of the Champagne bottle started to change, and here we will look at this in a bit more detail.

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Champagne Bottle Dimension Variation

The variation in Champagne bottle sizes started to occur when they realised that a cork was able to be used as a sealing agent, which in turn meant the wine could be kept longer.

The next major change in regards the size of the bottle of Champagne, was when the realisation occurred that a larger bottle was not only better looking in appearance, but the taste of the wine could change also. The reason behind this is that when a larger Champagne bottle is used, the bigger bottle means the wine can mature over a longer period than you would find with the usual bottle of Champagne size.

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Champagne glasses

Larger Bottle Sizes

A larger Champagne bottle was much better suited for wines like a Bordeaux which is suited to a longer ageing process. It is a given fact that if wine is in a larger bottle of Champagne it will age more slowly. There is also the argument that if a larger Champagne bottle is used the wine could develop more nuances and complexity than if a standard bottle is used. The logic behind this is due to the reduced amount of air that is found between the wine and the cork.

This air to surface ratio between the cork and the wine is entitled ullage. Ullage is important as it can ultimately oxidize the wine, which in turn will make the wine age rather prematurely, or it could make the development occur at a slower rate. The process that happens in a Champagne bottle is that when there is more air that the wine is exposed to, the wine will mature more quickly.

And the flip of this is that if you have a half-sized bottle of Champagne, the development here will be much faster. So, when it comes to purchasing a bottle of wine with the idea to age it for multiple years, the wine will be much better if one of the larger Champagne bottle sizes can be used. Not only that but when you put a large Champagne bottle on the table it will look very impressive!

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Large Bottle Size Advantage

Another advantage and disadvantage of a large Champagne bottle is as follows. A positive for a larger bottle of Champagne is that the thicker glass and in turn the wine within the bottle will be less prone to temperature fluctuations. An even temperature will always benefit the wine within a Champagne bottle.

The very large bottles of Champagne may need a cork to be custom made. The downside of this is that due to such a cork being custom made and being made by hand, the cork may not be a perfect fit for the Champagne bottle. The result could be a less than perfect seal, resulting in the wine in the Champagne bottle not ageing very well.

Bottle Size Breakdown

The various different sizes of Champagne bottles have some very intriguing names which we have listed below:

  • Jeroboam: this translates to “First King of The Kingdom”
  •  Methuselah: this translates to “Oldest Man”
  • Salmanzar: this translates to “Assyrian King”
  • Balthazar: this translates to: “One of The Wise Men”
  • Nebuchadnezzar: this translates to: “King of Babylon”
  • Solomon: this translates to: “King Solomon, the wisest man, who built the Temple at Jerusalem”
  • Melchizede: this translates to: “Name of various priesthoods spanning various religions which includes the Church of Jesus”.

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There are other bottle of Champagne sizes available, which include 250ml, 500ml and 1000ml. There also exist some other Champagne bottle sizes, and these are typically the oversized ones and will generally only be made for Champagne. In fact, Champagne is known to have made a number of bottle sizes which were to be used for Champagne bottles only.

The most unusual Champagne bottle size is called the Winston Churchill. This bottle was created by Pol Roger and was especially for Winston Churchill who thought that the exact amount of 20 ounces was perfect for his morning Champagne drink.

Wine Bottle Size Breakdown

This is a list of the most frequently used wine bottle sizes and an explanation of each size and shape:

  • Half quarter – 94ml – (or 1/8th of a bottle)
  • Quarter Bottle – 188ml – named a  Piccolo – (or 1/4 of a bottle)
  • Half Bottle – 375ml – (or half 1/2 of a bottle)
  • Standard – or 750ml – (a standard bottle)
  • Magnum – 1.5 Litres – (or 2 bottles)
  • Jeroboam – 3 Litres – (or 4 bottles)
  • Rehoboam – 4.5 Litres – (or 6 bottles)
  • Bordeaux Jeroboam – 5 Litres – (or 6.75 bottles)
  • Old Bordeaux Jeroboam – 4.45 litres – (or 5 bottles)
  • Imperial – 6 Litres (or 8 bottles)
  • Methuselah – 6 Litres – but this is 22″ high – (or 8 bottles)
  • Salmanzar – 9 Litres –  25″ high – (or 12 bottles)
  • Balthazar – 12 Litres – 28″ high – (or 16 bottles)
  • Nebuchanezzar – 15 Litres – 31″ high  – (or 20 bottles)
  • Melchoir -18 Litres – 36″ high – (or 24 bottles)
  • Solomon – 20 Litres (or 26 bottles)
  • Sovereign – 25 Litres – (or 33.3 bottles)
  • Goliath or Primat : 27 Litres (or 36 bottles)
  • Melchizedek – 30 Litres – (or 40 bottles)
  • Maximus – 130 Litres (or 184 bottles) – Created by Beringer from their Cabernet Sauvignon  2001 Reserve for charity.

You may have noticed that both the Methuselah and the Imperial hold 6 litres. The differentiating factor between them is that their name depends on the drink being bottled inside them. An Imperial bottle of Champagne looks like a typical wine bottle, and is typically used for white or red wine. The Methuselah Champagne bottle resembles the Champagne bottle shape.

Wine Bottle Sizes

Wine bottles come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, and when wine was first bottled the bottles were incredibly irregular in terms of shape and size. The reason for this of course was that back then when someone made a Champagne bottle, they had to be made by glass blowers. In fact, some of them looked so unusual they were called onion shaped bottles, due to them being shaped like an onion of course.

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As you can imagine with having such an irregular shaped bottle of Champagne, stacking them was very troublesome! The wine bottle development coincided roughly with the onset of the cork which was circa 1600. The onion shaped bottles were of course made one at a time, and the sizes varied wildly, although the most popular was between 700-800ml. This size was considered to be ideal for 2 people to consume with their meal.

Irregular Bottle Sizes

Other unusual shaped bottles that don’t get used for Champagne are bottles that come from Alsace and Germany, they typically have a long neck with small punts. This unusual and distinctive shape was likely to have arisen in the early 1800’s. The advantage of these being that they were easier to store and it distinguished them from other bottles in the store of a wine merchant.

Some bottles from Alsace and France have differing sizes from bottom to top, with a variety of neck sizes, and all this even if the liquid inside the bottle is exactly the same. The colouring of the bottles can also be quite different, with anything from blue, green, brown and rust.

Champagne Bottle Differences

The bottle used for a Champagne bottle was made for looks as well as the obvious practical reasons. These bottles had to be much stronger than a wine bottle due to the pressures on the inside which caused many bottles to explode in the early days,

Some of the top Champagne houses have created their own unique bottle for their top Champagne brands, this of course is to help differentiate it from other bottles. Champagne houses that have done this include Dom Perignon, Krug, Cristal, Laurent Perrier and Feuillatte Palmes d’Or among many others.

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The most common bottle for wine is the usual Bordeaux shaped which you will find typically used with the majority of wines. The standard size is of course 750ml, but there does exist some variances in the Bordeaux region which are described below.

Chateau Haut Brion has a unique shaped bottle which has an antique like look to it. Another old looking bottle is found with Chateau Pavie. Every now and again various Champagne houses will use a much thicker or bigger bottle, this can be seen with Pontet Canet in Pauillac.

Champagne Bottle Size Summary

So as you can see, the story behind a Champagne bottle is rich and varied with some very interesting changes and developments that took place over the years. Nowadays a bottle of Champagne can come in a huge variety of shapes, dimensions and sizes, which is testament to years of creativity and ingenuity from various Champagne houses over the years. At Say It With Champers typically we use the standard bottle for a Champagne bottle, should you wish another variant, let us know and we will do our best to source it for you.