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Jeroboam, Methuselah, Magnum: origin of the name of the bottles

“Put the little dishes in the big ones”

Does the expression speak to you? it's often a sign of a well-prepared meal to delight everyone's taste buds. Wine can also be put in large bottles . The magnum may tell you something but there are many others like Jeroboam, Methuselah and Rehoboam for example. Let's see together where all these funny names come from.

The different bottle sizes

A larger bottle improves aging because the ratio between the amount of air and wine in the bottle is lower. As it ages, red wine evolves and develops new aromas . Large containers are therefore ideal for preserving the superb quality of grand cru wines .

“Debout Mag: manage my room for the bal des nazes!”

You think we're crazy and that phrase doesn't mean anything? Stay with us until the end, you will soon understand its meaning… ;)

(Instagram photo, Kasivonmueberg)

The most famous wine bottles and champagne bottles

The classic bottle as we know it is 75cl. The origin of its size comes from our exchanges of goods with the English, we adapted to their unit of measurement, the imperial gallon . As we are very attached to history, we decided to keep this capacity and today, it has become a must.

At the restaurant (souvenir, souvenir…), you may have already been offered a half-bottle , which contains 37.5 cl of the sweet beverage of your choice. The half-bottle is also called “ fillet ”, it's cute and authentic, at Oé, we like it a lot.

For the most greedy, you probably also know the magnum . Handy for group parties, this 1.5 liter bottle makes a great impression when it's placed on the table. Small enough to be easily transported, with 1.5 liters of wine, you have enough to please you and your guests.

The Jeroboam , or double magnum , is as its name suggests, 3 litres. When we welcomed Gaëlle and Valentin into the team, we offered them a Jeroboam from our good Côtes-du-Rhône and we can tell you that they had to use their muscles to transport it, but in view of their smiles, it didn't bother them too much.

More specific bottles

Now let's move on to serious things with large formats that are talking about them. These bottles are not produced industrially because they are expensive to make before they are even filled, and because these are not the formats that win over wine lovers the most (in fact, you need a few people to finish them...). To realize your dream and have at home a bottle that exceeds your belt, you will have to place an order. Nice as a birthday present, right?

Methuselah is equivalent to 8 classic bottles (we spoil you, that's 6 liters!) . Don't drink this on its own, you might get headaches the next day...

The Salmanazar outbid by 3 liters and reaches for Bordeaux bottles a height of 64.8 cm and a diameter of 19 centimeters for 11 liters of wine. That's taller than a Golden Retriever, can you imagine? Medor better watch out!

Le Balthazar , it may be the name of your little cousin, your best friend, your child or maybe even yours! Well be proud to share it with a big 12 liter bottle, it's not given to everyone.

For this one, take a deep breath, do a little vocalization, concentrate and… here we go, the Nebuchadnezzar . Did you succeed the first time? At Oé some people still practice saying it. Its name is similar to that of a dinosaur, and yet it is indeed that of a bottle! 15 liters of pure happiness.

The more sporty among you know the Salomon ski brand and just by hearing this name, we bet you are already on a bed of snow slaloming between the fir trees. Salomon is also the name of one of the largest bottles in the Champagne method ! With 18 liters of capacity , it is equivalent to 24 bottles, to finish it, you need a hell of a descent and we are not talking about a black track. The name salomon is used for Burgundy wines and champagne bottles while for Bordeaux wines , the name Melchior is used .

Before revealing the last three bottle sizes , let us reveal the secret of the magic phrase (a little far-fetched) at the beginning of the article.

“DeBout Mag: Manage My Room for the Bal des NaZes!”

This sentence is in fact a mnemonic device to memorize the size of the bottles . In order, it gives: Half bottle, bottle, magnum, jeroboam, rehoboam, mathusalem, salmanazar, balthazar, nebuchadnezzar, solomon .

There are three other , slightly less well -known bottle sizes ; the Sovereign (26.25 liters), the Primate (27 liters) and the Melchizedek (30 liters) . If one day you order one of these three bottles, don't hesitate to invite us ;)

We offer you one last anecdote. The largest bottle in the world currently made, hold on tight, 2.4 meters high and 68 centimeters in diameter. The cork alone is 18 centimeters in diameter. It is on display in the cellar of a Swiss restaurant, the Gasthaus zum Gupf , and contains an Austrian sweet wine, a Burgenland , from the 2005 vintage.

Origin of names

Disconcerted by all these countenances ? Let's take a little bit of history...

Giving a name to something is very human. As a child, we loved giving names to our toys, choosing the first name of the cat or understanding the origins of our first name.

The origin of the name of the bottles is very prestigious because it is mainly about biblical references and names of kings . You may have already noticed that Melchior and Balthazar , two of the three Three Kings , slipped among these large bottle formats. Melchizedek is also a biblical character . As mysterious as it is impressive, there are several depictions of Melchizedek alongside Abraham as well as passages about him in the New Testament.


A big bottle for a big name. The Jeroboam has the prestige of borrowing its name from Jeroboam I and Jeroboam II , two ancient kings of Israel, 1000 years before Jesus Christ. King Salmanaza r appears in the Bible 300 years later to reign over Assyria.

Methuselah is known in the Old Testament as being the oldest character. According to the Bible, he would have lived 969 years. To survive for so long, he had to drink a good elixir of youth or a real good wine for laying down !

Our very dear and unpronounceable Nebuchadnezzar , stole the name of the prestigious king of Babylon 500 years before Jesus Christ, Nebuchadnezzar II , just that.

The magnum meanwhile has a much more rational explanation. It comes from the Latin word “magnus” meaning “great”. We often find this name among gladiators, does that ring a bell?

Now that you know about large containers , it's time to taste . Treat yourself to our selection of good organic wines .

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