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Why are bottles 75 cl.?

01/06/2021 Wine service

There are at least 10 different sizes of wine bottles with the most common being the 75 cl bottle. Have you ever wondered why?

The answers to this question are strange and one of the most remarkable reasons claims that the amount of liquid you get from one kilogram of grapes is: 75 cl.

Another theory is that 75 cl. was the lung capacity of glassblowers who were responsible for making bottles before they were manufactured.

Out of all these stories and urban legends, there is one that might be the most accurate and widely accepted. The most likely reason comes from the first major industrialisation of bottles, around the eighteenth century. At that time, the British Empire dominated wine distribution.

The English used gallons to measure liquids. One gallon is equal to 4.5 litres. If you divide one gallon by six, you get 0.75 litres (75 cl.) So one gallon is equivalent to 6 bottles of wine, the exact amount of bottles that fit in a standard case.

In the year 1821, H. Ricketts & Co. Glass Works Bristol patented a method of making wine bottles mechanically and in the 1970s, wine measurements were standardised to facilitate export/import, collection of duties and protecting customers from fraud around how much was in the bottle.

Does size matter?

Well, yes, in this case it absolutely does matter.

What do we mean?

Wine has two great enemies: temperature and oxygen.

Large bottles allow the liquid contained within to have proportionally less contact with the air space inside the bottle. This means aging is gradual and slow. And as far as temperature is concerned, it affects a smaller percentage when a larger quantity of liquid is involved.

This is why major collectors prefer to keep their wines in magnums. This is a 1.5 litre bottle and is equivalent to two bottles of the most common size, the 75 cl.

Have you tried your favourite wine in magnum size?

As well as being the perfect size for preserving wine, these bottles are perfect for sharing, for opening in company and for giving your table a celebratory feel.

Give it a try!  Buying your wines in magnum bottles will help your favourite wines last longer and when you decide to open one of these bottles we can guarantee that everyone will be impressed. A guaranteed spectacle!

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