The largest wine encyclopedia in the world

23.021 Keywords • 48.219 Synonyms • 5.303 Translations • 28.327 Pronunciations • 154.138 Cross-references

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bottle (GB)
bouteille (F)
botella (ES)
bottiglia (I)
garrafa (PO)
fles (N)

Different containers Glass For liquids, 1,500 BC were already in ancient Egypt. Chr. But it wasn't until the invention of the glassmaker's pipe (and thus glass blowing) in the 2nd century BC. Chr. By the Phoenicians in the area of Syria From the beginning of our era, the Romans were also able to manufacture glass bottles on a larger scale. The oldest wine bottle the world is exhibited in a museum in Speyer. It was found in a Roman tomb and dates from the 4th century AD. Up to the 17th century, however, mainly containers made of clay or earthenware and wooden barrels were used for transport and storage due to the fragility of the glass. At the time, wine was not made in small sizes containers, but almost exclusively in large containers (mainly wooden barrels ) marketed.


Half of the world was made by England controlled. Many English had possessions in Portugal (where they had the Port wine industry justified), in Spain (where the same for the sherry applies) in Sicily (where also from an Englishman the Marsala was invented) and in Bordeaux with lively wine trade with the motherland. Overseas this was true in the Caribbean, in this case with spirits how gin or rum, It is therefore no coincidence that the bottle for wine or alcoholic drinks was “invented” in England or that its production was perfected. The English diplomat Sir Kenelm Digby (1603-1665) developed an improved technique for manufacturing in 1652, but did not care about a patent. Fame was then earned by John Colnett, who applied for a patent in 1661. Initially they had a spherical body with a long neck and slowly developed into onion-shaped, short-necked vessels known as "mallet" or "horse's foot" until the beginning of the 18th century. The olive green bottles shown in the picture (17 cm high, 14 cm diameter) were made in Northern Germany around 1710 to 1750 for the Dutch market from forest glass (potash glass).

Bottles - bottle shape 1710 to 1750 in Germany

At that time, the use of cork already widely used as a closure. The bottles were provided with a bulge at the top of the neck, which was used to secure the stopper attached with cords. On the bottle body was also often a glass seal melted on which that too nominal volume, but no summary was included. This provided some protection against fraud by bottles that were too small. After the appearance of glass bottles in the middle of the 17th century, it was prohibited for a long time to sell wine in bottles. Because the different sizes of the bottles would have opened the door to scams. Until the beginning of the 19th century, instead of the bulbous spherical shape, the roller shape that is usual today prevailed because it was much better suited for stacking the bottles. The first producer to produce bottles in this form was Ricketts in the English city of Bristol, for which the company had a patent. At that time the first came labels in use in its current form.

Bottled wine

Despite the industrial manufacture of glass bottles, the marketing in bottles was far the exception until well into the 20th century and mainly took place only for better qualities. For the most part, in addition to the reason mentioned above, wine was also marketed for practical reasons because it was easier to transport in barrels. The general prevailed in many countries bottling only after the Second World War. Many countries, wine-growing regions and also producers have created specific bottle shapes, sizes and colors in order to create a distinctive identity for marketing reasons. In the German growing area Saxony is the conical Saxony club, in the growing area Rheingau the slim, brown Schlegel bottle and in the growing area Moselle the same is common in green color. The Schlegel bottle (also high bottle) is most commonly used for white wines in Austria, Germany, Switzerland and the French region of Alsace.

The shape and color significant according to the regions come from France Bordeaux. Burgundy- and champagne bottles which are now used worldwide. The Burgundy bottle in particular became popular worldwide in a short time due to the Chardonnay boom in the 1980s. In addition, there are special bottles in many countries such as the Clavelin for the Vin Jaune who have favourited Wire Wrapped Alambrado for the Rioja, the bocksbeutel in francs (also in Greece and for the Armagnac in use), the Albeisa in Piedmont for the Barolo and Barbaresco or earlier the unspeakable bastom Fiasco for the Chianti, There are also individually designed bottles for producers.

Bottle types: Bocksbüte, Burgundy bottle, Bordeaux bottle, Schlegel bottle, club bottle, sparkling wine bottle

For a long time, the standard size for wine bottles was usually 0.7 liters. After a not certain thesis she goes to the famous monk cathedral Pérignon (1638-1715) who had determined this as the average consumption of male adults at dinner. Others assume purely practical reasons, because this corresponds approximately to the amount of air that a glass blower can absorb in the lungs at once. But they were also big wine vessels up to 30 bottles in use. This bulbous Vessels were used primarily for storage. The first bottle size legally defined within a country was the "Pinte de Paris" introduced in 1735 under the French King Louis XV. (1710-1774). This Volume, for wine, beer and cider bottles was 0.93 liters and had a minimum weight of 25 ounces (765 g).

The wine bottles in Europe had a volume of around 0.7 liters with a range between 0.65 and 0.85, which lasted until the 1970s. Only then did today's standard of 0.75 or three quarter liters prevail for wines worldwide. 0.75 l has been the European standard for wine bottles since 1977; in Germany 0.7 l was used until 1987. This size is also referred to as 1/1 (single) in the catering trade. In Switzerland (Vaud), however, the 0.7 liter bottle is still in use today and the 0.75 liter size is still not used in the USA to this day. at spirits however, the volume is still mostly 0.7 liters. But there are also numerous smaller volumes and oversizes, which are listed below (see also under nominal volume ).

Bottle sizes

Especially in Bordeaux. Burgundy and Champagne it has long been common to fill wine or sparkling wine in larger bottles. The bottle aging Larger bottles are slower, which can have a positive effect. Wine is the most common Magnum with one and a half and the double magnum with three liters. The larger sizes above are usually only show objects for marketing measures. To protect the wine from the harmful effects of UV light To protect, most wine bottles are made with dark colored glass. For practical reasons, many bottles have the bottle bottom an indentation.

Most oversize bottles are named after famous biblical characters. But there are different versions, for what reason and when they were first used. The well-known wine author André Simon (1877-1970) believed that the names were chosen based on the size and honor of the mighty kings of Israel (but they are not all kings). The first use of biblical names dates from 1725 as a winemaker in Bordeaux Jeroboam used for the six-bottle. The alleged reason was that he was described as a "man of great value". They may have been inspired by Eugene Destuche, a Champagne poet who mentions Jeroboam and other later names in his works.

The tradition of using biblical names for oversized formats was not continued until the 1940s, especially in France. Some have different volumes in Champagne (for champagne) and Bordeaux (for still wines). From the volume of six liters, they are mostly only for champagne used in small quantities or for marketing purposes. Some oversize bottles are used exclusively for storage or maturation, such as the demijohn (Lady Jane) with a volume of 45 liters is used and the contents are then poured into normal bottles before marketing. at ship christenings the three oversized champagne or sparkling wine sizes are preferred Magnum (1.5 l), Jeroboam (3 l) or Rehoboam (4.5 l) used.

Standards in the EU

The new EU wine market regulations that came into effect in 2009 also resulted in changes to the provisions for wine containers. Previously allowed to quality wines can only be given to the consumer in glass bottles, wooden barrels or ceramic vessels. In order to increase competitiveness vis-à-vis third countries, this provision, which is disadvantageous for the EU countries, has been deleted. Quality wine can now be used in a wide variety of containers as well Bag-in-Boxes or Tetra pack be filled. See also other lists of wine containers below drum types and wine vessels,

bottle types

0.75 b

in liters

Still wines - spirits
Names, remarks

Burgundy (in part)

- 0.02 Miniature bottles (e.g. Underberg ) -
- 0.10 Sextaner, e.g. B. for balsamic used -
0.25 0.1875 nip (Dinky, Quarter), pony (also 0.375 l) Quart de Bouteille
- 0.20 piccolo (registered trademark of Henkell ) Stifterl -
- 0.25 no special name -
0.5 0,375 Demi-Bouteille, three-eighths. fillette
Half bottle, Split. Stifterl. Tenth
- 0.50 Dumpy -
- 0,568 Imperial pint (England) -
- 0.62 Clavelin - For Vin Jaune used -
- 0.70 mostly at spirits used -
1 0.75 bouteille, Bottiglia, Botella, Bottle, bottle bouteille
1 0.75 Fifth (UNITED STATES) -
1.08 0.81 litron (France) -
1.24 0.93 Pinte de Paris (France) -
1.33 1 mainly for simple wine -
2 1.5 Magnum Magnum
2.66 2 doubler (Austria) -
2.8 2.1 flagon -
3 2.25 Marie-Jeanne. Tappit hen. Tregnum -
4 3 Double magnum, double magnum Jeroboam
5.3 4 Lady Jeanne -
6 4.5 Jeroboam (Bordeaux) until 1977 Rehoboam
6.66 5 Jeroboam (Bordeaux) since 1978 -
8th 6 impériale (Bordeaux) Methuselah
10 7.5 Narcis -
10.66 8th no special name -
12 9 - Salmanazar
16 12 - Balthazar
20 15 - Nebuchadnezzar
24 18 MelchiorGoliath
26.66 20 - Salomon (Solomon)
35 26.25 - Sovereign (Sovereign)
36 27 - primate
40 30 - Melchizedek
60 45 demijohn (Demijon, Demi John, Lady Jane) -
66.66 50 - Sovereign (Sovereign)
131 98.5 Adelaide -
387 290 Shiraz 2005 from 5 wineries Australia
640 480 TBA 2007 Austria - cracker
2681 2011 Pinot Noir / Dornfelder Switzerland

Under sommeliers there is a (not very fine) donkey bridge for the correct order of the bottle sizes: Michael Jackson Really Makes Boys Nervous (Michael Jackson makes little boys really nervous). This results in M agnum, J eroboam, R ehoboam, M ethusalem, S almanazar, B althazar and N ebukadnezar. However, some of the oversizes are missing in this list, but the table above contains all formats.

largest wine bottles

The three largest wine bottles in the world are custom-made items. The third largest bottle belongs to the Australian wine dealer Kim Bullock and was used in 2007 to promote Australian products. It is 196 centimeters high and weighs 485 kilograms. The bottle made in Germany and filled in Australia contains the content of 387 normal wine bottles with 0.75 liters, which results in a volume of over 290 liters (this corresponds to 1.3 barrique barrels). There is a Shiraz cuvée in the bottle ( Syrah ) from five Australian wineries in 2005. It is closed with a Portuguese special cork.

The second largest wine bottle was filled in 2007 in Burgenland (Austria). It was manufactured by the Lenz Laborglas company in Wertheim am Main (Germany), is 2.40 m high, weighs 630 kg, has a diameter of 68 cm, a wall thickness of 1 cm and holds 480 liters. She was with one Trockenbeerenauslese of the winery Kracher Weinlaubenhof in the municipality of Illmitz (wine region Lake Neusiedl ) filled. The record bottle was commissioned by the Swiss entrepreneur Migg Eberle, owner of a restaurant and collector of large bottles. The "TBA Grande Cuvee vintage 2005 number 7" was closed with a 1 kg heavy cork made in France with an 18 cm diameter. The cost was around € 75,000, the content is worth around € 50,000. The “wine pastor” Hans Denk (1942-2019), known in Austria, gave the bottle his blessings on his way to Switzerland. There it will be exhibited in the “Gasthaus zum Gupf AG” in the municipality of Rehetobel near Rorschach (Appenzell). However, the bottle should never be opened, but only serve as a showpiece.

By far the largest wine bottle in the world comes from the municipality of Watt in the Swiss canton Zurich, It is 3.80 meters high, has a diameter of around one meter and, together with the wooden frame, weighs over three tons. The volume is 2,011 liters with a cuvée from the Pinot Noir varieties ( Pinot Noir ) and Dornfelder from Watter Lagen, which corresponds to 2,681 0.75 liter bottles. The cork is "pillow-sized". The bottle was made in Thurgau, the wooden frame was built by a carpenter from Watt. The giant bottle is in the Guinness book Records, The content was served to visitors to the annual village festival in autumn 2011.

Images above: © AG MINIFOSSI - Schopfheim
Picture below: ©
Norbert FJ Tischelmayer

World's largest wine knowledge database, made with by our author Norbert Tischelmayer.

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