Thought Leadership

An update on bottle sizes

By Colin Walls

I have always been fascinated by the measurement of things and our perception of those measurements. I constantly bump into conflicts and synergies between systems. For example, I have been known to refer to the size of something as being “between one centimetre and half an inch”. On the other hand, the inherent illogicality [to me] of the Fahrenheit temperature scale befuddles me.

I recently wrote about a specific kind of measurement – that of drinks. I have now found some more information …

Last time I cataloged the list of wonderful bottle names, which are primarily employed in France and commonly associated with Champagne, but are used in other regions and countries. Since writing that, I have learned two things. First, some of the names change slightly from one region to another. Second, there are even more sizes than I listed before.

Here is my new “definitive” list:

  • Split, Piccolo, Pony or Snipe = one quarter bottle; 0.1875L
  • Quarter = four fifteenths of a bottle; 0.2L [confusing eh?]
  • Chopine = one third of a bottle; 0.25L
  • Demi = half bottle; 0.375L
  • Tenth = one tenth of a US Gallon; 0.378L
  • Jennie = two thirds of a bottle; 0.5L
  • Clavelin = five sixths of a bottle; 0.625L
  • Bottle = 0.75L
  • Fifth = one fifth of a US Gallon; 0.757L
  • Litre = one and a third of a bottle
  • Magnum = 2 bottles; 1.5L
  • Marie Jeanne, Tregnum or Tappit Hen = 3 bottles; 2.25L
  • Jeroboam or Double Magnum = 4 bottles; 3L
  • Rehoboam or Jeroboam = 6 bottles; 4.5L
  • Methuselah or Imperial = 8 bottles; 6L
  • Salmanazar = 12 bottles; 9L
  • Balthazar or Belshazzar = 16 bottles; 12L
  • Nabuchadnezzar = 20 bottles; 15L
  • Melchior or Solomon = 24 bottles; 18L
  • Sovereign = 35 bottles; 26.25L
  • Goliath or Primat = 36 bottles; 27L
  • Melchizedek or Midas = 40 bottles; 30L

Your assignment is to visit restaurants and wine cellars all over the world and demand wine in some of these denominations. Please report back, via email, comment of social media on your success [or lack thereof].

I am going on a short vacation, so there will be radio silence around here for a while. I will be back …

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at