Guide to Ginormous Wine Bottles

Imperial: Large or Oversized Wine Bottles

I had the opportunity to drink a bottle of 2006 Bob wine from Whalebone Vineyards in Paso Robles. This wasn’t just any bottle, it was enormous. Some friends of ours visited Whalebone and brought it home. I’ve never seen an oversized wine bottle this big in someone’s house. Surprisingly, it wasn’t too challenging to open though it was kind of tough to pour from, at first.

The bottle was gone…quickly. I think we make the mistake of associating large bottles of wine with poor quality. Not so. This wine was excellent.

The bottle this Bob wine was housed in is called an Imperial, which holds 8 bottles.  So, that got me thinking…what other sizes are there?  Here’s the low down:

Split:  187 ml

Half-Bottle:  375 ml or one half of the standard bottle size.

Bottle:  750 ml – the standard size.

Magnum:  1.5 litres or 2 bottles.

Double Magnum:  Twice the size of a magnum at 3 litres, or 4 bottles.

Jeroboam (King of Israel in 9th century BC):  The sparkling wine Jeroboam holds 3 litres or 4 bottles.  The still wine Jeroboam holds 4.5 litres or 6 bottles.

Rehoboam (Son of Solomon and king of Israel in 10th century BC):  4.5 litres or 6 bottles of Champagne.

Imperial:  6 litres or the equivalent of 8 bottles.

Methuselah (A bilbical patriarch who lived 969 years) :  6 litres, but is usually used for sparkling wines and is Burgundy-shaped.

Salmanazar (An Assyrian king that lived in the 9th century BC. Mentioned in II Kings 17:3):  9 litres or 12 bottles.

Balthazar (A regent of Babylon, living in the 6th century BC):  12 litres or 16 bottles.

Nebuchadnezzar (The king of Babylon who lived in the 6th century BC):  15.0 litres or 20 bottles.

I would love to see a Nebuchadnezzar in real life. That would be a crowd-pleaser at one of our parties, for sure!  Back to Whalebone Vineyard, we’ve had several of their wines and it’s definitely on my list of places to visit in Paso Robles. Their wines seem to retail about $30 for normal sized bottles, but evidently there are larger ones available at the winery.

What is the largest bottle of wine you’ve ever participated in?

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  1. Ralph Sullivan says:

    Where can I find “dimensions” of all the extra large wine bottles in use.?

  2. This is great!! My friends and I would have a blast with that much wine, ha!


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