always gotten a big kick out of the names given by the wine
industry to various bottle sizes. Way back when, as bottle sizes
were being created and named, vintners must really have believed
that wine was the nectar of the gods, or at least, of the rulers
who thought themselves gods.
Let me just
run through the list:
Standard bottle (750 ml.)
Magnum - equivalent to 2 standard bottles
Jeruboam- equivalent to 4 bottles
Rehboam - equivalent to 6 bottles
Methuselah - equivalent to 8 bottles
Salamanazar - equivalent to 12 bottles
Balthazar - equivalent to16 bottles
Nebuadnezzar - equivalent to 20 bottles
can be very special and are great for big events, happenings
and special occasions. They are produced by almost every vineyard
and not just as decoration in your local wine shop.
are happy to oblige anyone who desires them - for a price. Two
bottles in one often costs more than two individual bottles.
But the effect it has on your guests is often ten-fold!
A word to
the wise: When it comes to non-standard sized bottles, the best
method to remove the cork is with a standard 'waiters corkscrew'.
That's the corkscrew where you insert the spiral into the cork,
hook the pivotal pry onto the lip of the bottle and pull using
the pry as a fulcrum. The others will just not work. Cork sizes
vary with bottle sizes and other corkscrews do not allow you
to get the firm, secure grip in the center of the cork that
is necessary for a clean uncorking.
Now a few
words about the smaller wine containers, the so called half-bottles.
They are not worthwhile. Not in price. Not in taste. I realize
the attraction. You don't want to waste the wine, you are the
only one drinking, the two of you will only need one glass each.
Whatever the reason, go for the larger, standard bottle.
open a real standard bottle and to re-seal it than to waste
money on a small, half-size bottle. The best way to re-seal
wine is with the vac-u-vin, a cork and pump combination that
pumps out unwanted air from the bottle as it secures the cork.
If properly stored, wine will last a few days and be perfect
when you desire another glass.
is taste. The vineyards have a great deal of experience
filling standard bottles and have nearly no experience filling
half bottles. Much of the taste of wine is dependent on the
amount of air combined with the mixture when it is filled into
the bottle. The small bottles just do not get it correct.
buy them. These half bottles are simply a gimmick. They
are never half the price and they are almost always very disappointing