In all wine sections of stores, at the wine merchant, or on online wine stores, wine is almost always sold in a bottle with a capacity of 75 centiliters. But do you know why? And do you think that the size of the wine bottle has an influence on the taste of the wine ? This is what we are going to show you.
Why is the size of wine bottles 75 cl?
If you have ever heard that a bottle of wine has a capacity of 75 cl , because this corresponds to the lung capacity of a glass blower, or that this represents the average consumption of a household per meal, forget yourself these preconceived ideas of the head. The reason is quite different, and more simply concerns the metric system . Remember that the main buyers of French wines have long been the English, whose metric system is expressed in imperial gallons. During transactions, the conversion between liters and gallons was complicated, and we had to find a trick to simplify things.
After numerous calculations, a mutual agreement was reached: the French then delivered the wine in 225 liter barrels, which corresponds to 50 gallons. Later, when the bottle of wine became more popular, it was decided to keep this method of conversion. We therefore kept the 50 gallons, which we divided into 300 75 cl bottles , to obtain a round number of bottles.
A gallon then represents 6 bottles, which explains, moreover, that most cases of wine contain 6 bottles .
Why are there other bottle formats?
In shops specializing in wine, or directly from producers, you can find different bottle sizes: the 1.5 L magnum , the 3 L jeroboam , the 6 L methuselah ... These bottle formats, including the name often refers to a biblical character, are proposed for their festive side, but also for conservation reasons. In fact, large bottle formats of red wine, white wine, rosé wine or champagne often provide better wine storage conditions . Oxygenation is slower, ideal for wines to age, and the development of yeasts, bacteria and microbes is slowed.
This is explained, among other things, by the space between the bottle cork and the wine, which allows more or less contact of the wine with the air. Let's take the example of a magnum and a classic bottle, which have a neck of the same size, but a different capacity. Logically, the space between the cork and the wine is approximately the same, since the neck is the same. In this logic, the air and wine contact surface is therefore similar.
However, with a volume of wine twice as large for the magnum, the oxidation of the wine is therefore much slower. Phenolic compounds are broken down more slowly by oxygen, which favors the aging of wine , especially for red wine.
Do large format wines taste different?
Great wine lovers know that wine is a living product, sensitive to certain reactions, such as oxidation and the action of micro-organisms. Thanks to the mass effect, these phenomena are rarer with a larger bottle format. Let's imagine a small army of bacteria: it will grow much more easily in half a bottle than in a Methuselah, and will have a direct impact on the taste of the wine . It can therefore be said, to a certain extent, that wines from large bottles taste different.
To get closer to reality, we can rather affirm that the Large bottle formats promote the expression and development of wines for aging, until perfect maturity and good balance are obtained.
Large format bottles from the Domaine de Berne
While most Château de Berne wines are sold in classic 75 cl bottles, we also offer beautiful larger format bottles .
Rosé 2020 AOP Côtes de Provence Methusalem - Terres de Berne: this superb bottle of Methusalem has a capacity of 6 liters. Ideal for festive events, or for maturing great vintages, this rosé wine from Provence offers fruity aromas perfect for an aperitif;
Rosé 2020 AOP Côtes de Provence Jéroboam - Inspiration: this beautiful bottle of rosé wine in Jéroboam has a capacity of 3 liters. Easy to serve, and looks great on a festive table, this rosé wine, which won a gold medal at the Provence Wine Competition, reveals notes of stone fruits that will work wonders with Provençal cuisine;
Rosé 2020 IGP Méditerranée Magnum - Romance: with a capacity of 1.5 liters, this beautiful bottle of rosé wine with a pale color reveals an excellent vintage with aromas of peach and apricot, perfect for an aperitif, or as an accompaniment to Southern cuisine.
The format of wine bottles offers different storage conditions, and the larger the capacity, the more the terroir is expressed. We can then notice a different taste depending on the size of the wine bottles . To fully enjoy the richness of Provence rosé wines, we recommend the large formats of Château de Berne.