April 11, 2013

It is the name given to the 3 litre bottle size for Champagne (4 x the normal 75cl bottle). The French like to get us a little confused from time to time so this name is also given to 4.5 litre bottles in Bordeaux. I’m not even going to discuss Burgundy (well not right at this moment in time…..)

So back to Champagne bottles. I’ve listed them below in size:

Magnum  Bottle with a capacity of 1,5L (2 x a normal bottle) generally recognised as the optimum size for bottle ageing Champagne. It is large enough for slow ageing. Crucially it isn’t so large that it inhibits the riddling process. Once we get past the Magnum the names take on a biblical theme (sorry don’t know why  but am working on it)

Jeroboam (as before)

Methuselah, 6L, 8 x normal bottles

Salmanazar, 9L, 12 x normal bottles

Balthazar, 12L, 16 x normal bottles

Nebuchadnezzar, 15L, 20 x normal bottles

So now you have the correct terminology next time you are looking to acquire some for a large group of friends or your friendly wine advisor ….




  • This is very interested. I know literally nothing about wine. Don’t drink it, but it is something I find fascinating to learn about.

    Konstanz Silverbow
    A-to-Z April Blogging Challenge Co-host

  • Cynthia Reed says:

    Joanne, I always loved these words–all of them. Once, and only once, was I in the presence of a Jeroboam when it was opened and drunk.

    However, on our last trip to France I *did* buy one MAGNUM, I think it was, (using the word to describe my ever-growing knowledge) of a very special champagne to celebrate with when my novel is finally finished. It was Pommery, and is in a gorgeous white presentation box. I think it is called Louise, or Louise Something. Now I’ve forgot–but you have piqued my interest yet again.

    Canard Duchene is our other favourite. A friend introduced us and well…yummm.

    I’ve never managed to memorise size is which, though I sortof have the Jeraboam down pat now. I remember a display at Waddesdon Manor, I think it was (the Rothschild place) and the huge bottles were simply amazing and really illustrated how seriously people took their drink. Thank you for this post, too!

    • La Femme says:

      I am looking forward to when you can drink your Pommery, I can then read your book in its entirety! I did a little research and your bottle is probably their Louise Cuvee which is made in tribute to Madame Louise Pommery, who along with many other widows in Champagne (it is always about the women in history I find) who contributed to the history of Champagne production.

      Today the “Brut” or dry style is the most popular but it started life as a sweet wine.

      Louise knew that the English market, one of the most important for Champagne at that time, preferred drier wines.

      In 1874 she arranged for Pommery Nature to be produced. It was a risk that paid off, her vintage champagne for that year fetched the highest price paid in London to that date.

      The rest, as they say, is history.

      I may well blog about those Widows in my “W” post, thanks for the prompt!!

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