The season of festive gatherings with friends, family, and colleagues is just starting, and for champagne lovers, nothing seems more exciting than thinking about the next bottle to share. For some occasions, however, a regular bottle just doesn’t seem big enough for a thirsty group of drinkers.
But what’s an appropriate format to choose among the various choices from magnum to Nebuchadnezzar? Let’s take a closer look at the most convenient bottle sizes that will turn your celebrations – whether it’s a dinner party, holiday festivities, a marriage or a special anniversary – into sparkling moments to remember.
Everything begins with the standard bottle size, unpretentiously called bouteille. Although the market offers smaller formats such as the Quart or Demie – the quarter and half-bottle – the standard bouteille is the first bottle size that is intended to serve more than two people, so we’re beginning with this size as our entry point.
The most-sold bottle format contains 750 ml, a convenient size that will pour five generous champagne glasses to enjoy with a meal, or about seven smaller glasses to serve as an apéritif or in a tasting series with several cuvées to discover.
A festive menu or occasions that bring together your closest loved ones, such as Christmas, birthdays, or other anniversaries, are suitable occasions to upgrade your bottle size and consider magnum bottles. Magnums contain 1500 ml of champagne and have significant benefits. First and foremost, a magnum serves 12 to 15 glasses and drastically reduces the time spent running around opening bottles if all you wish to do is enjoy the time with your guests.
Furthermore, magnums offer enhanced aging potential and a gain in wine quality, making them the favorite format for enthusiasts who appreciate mature champagne and older vintages. With a smaller ratio between liquid and oxygen, the oxygen has less impact on the development of the wine inside a magnum bottle compared to a regular bouteille. This slows down the oxidation process significantly and makes these bottles ideally suited for long bottle-aging by enhancing a slow and steady development.
In comparison to other formats, magnum bottles tend to seem fresher, more nuanced, and more vibrant many years after they were bottled. As such, magnum bottles remain the optimal choice for all collectors and wine enthusiasts who wish to store their champagne bottles for years to come.
Holding the equivalent of 4 standard bottles, the Jeroboam’s 3000 ml content is sufficient for a big round of thirsty invitees. This bottle size fills up to 30 champagne glasses and is a fantastic size for any kind of anniversary or family reunion with many bubbly loving palates to cater to.
No matter if you’re picking a fruity or refreshing champagne to satisfy different taste preferences during an apéritif, if you’re picking a more complex champagne to enjoy throughout all courses of a gourmet menu from entrée to dessert, or if you choose a special vintage that relates to your event – our shop offers many excellent options to match any requirement and occasion.
If you plan to host a big party with many guests and wish to make the event extra-special, a Methuselah bottle with 6000 ml of sparkling champagne – equaling 8 regular bottles – is the most charming way to make everyone feel like a VIP.
Serving up to 60 glasses of sparkling joy, this format is suitable for any festive occasion such as marriages, baby showers, team events, or other memorable moments such as a ship naming ceremony.
Keep in mind that larger bottle sizes such as the Methuselah can quickly get bulky and heavy on the hand as you pour the glasses. Particularly thick glass renders the large bottle solid and manageable during production, but a helping hand will be of service as you pour 60 glasses without wasting a drop.
Of course, the scale of formats continues even after the Methuselah bottle: Salmanazar, Balthazar, or Nebuchadnezzar are some of the format names, and they continue to grow up to the Melchisedech size that equals 40 standard bottles. These super-sized formats, however, are made to impress and are so large and heavy that they require a team of people to open, handle, and pour the champagne correctly.
Usually, these formats are a blend of several magnum- or jeroboam-aged champagne bottles, which are first transferred into a large vessel before they are filled into the final large format bottle. As part of this heavy-impact undertaking, special machinery is required to protect the wines from oxidation and maintain the precious sparkle.
If you are interested in knowing more about those super-sized formats and advice on serving sizes for special occasions, have a look at our article Bottle Sizes of Champagne for New Year’s Eve.