Where to Buy Large Format and Magnum Sized Bottles Online
So, you are searching for the best places to buy large format wines online. You’re probably familiar with the most popular wine bottle size – 750ml. It is widely used everywhere in the world where wine is sold. However, you may have noticed that there are intriguing options for larger bottles.
If you've arrived at this post because you are ready to buy wine in a magnum or even buy wine in a jeroboam, here two of our favorite options.
Click here to go to Millesima's large-format wine page
You can visit the larger wine bottle page of Wine.com here
Sure, you’ve seen those bottles on Instagram that people photograph during the holidays. And, yes, holidays are the perfect excuse to break out the big guns. But these aren’t the only occasions large-sized bottles are warranted. In fact, some would argue that you should drink from large-format and magnum bottles all-year-round.
So, why buy large-format bottles? In this article, we’ll explore the world of large wine bottles, explain why they’re great, discuss the various sizes, and show you where you can get them.
Large-Format Wine bottles
To start things off, let’s see what bottle sizes are available. But first, a disclaimer. Various online sources disagree regarding the bottle sizes, although most agree on the names.
First, we have the Split or Piccolo size, which is 187.5ml. It holds about a quarter of the standard bottle and is equivalent to a single glass of wine.
Then, there’s the Half or Demi size, which is 375ml. It accounts for about half of the standard bottle sizes and can serve 2.5 wine glasses.
Half-liter, also known as “Jennie,” is 500ml in size, holds about two-thirds of the standard wine bottle. You can pour three wine glasses from it. This format is typically used for Sauternes, Tokaj, and a couple of other sweet wine types.
Now, we have the Standard, 750ml size. It can hold about five wine glasses. Nothing fancy to say about this one – we’re all used to seeing it.
The Liter size has become particularly popular in European wines recently. It makes for about a third more than the standard bottle and can hold seven glasses of wine.
Then, we have the Magnum size. It holds 1.5l of wine and accounts for two standard wine bottles. You can pour 10 glasses’ worth of wine out of it. This is a popular collector’s choice for red wines that are age-worthy. At parties, Magnums make for quite a sight.
The Really Big Wine Bottles
Double Magnum, also known as Jeroboam, is twice the Magnum size. This means it holds four standard bottles and can pour 20 glasses of wine. It’s 3l in size.
Rehoboam is where it gets interesting. It holds 4.5 liters of wine, which is six standard bottles. It’s capable of pouring 30 wine glasses. These bottles are frequently seen in big Champagne houses and hold large quantities of the beverage. However, in Bordeaux, Rehoboam is referred to as Jeroboam.
The next up is Methuselah or Imperial. Six liters in size, it holds 40 glasses of wine or eight standard wine bottles.
Then, there’s Salmanazar, Balthazar, and Nebuchadnezzar, which are 9, 12, and 15 liters in size, respectively. They also hold 12, 17, and 20 standard bottles respectively, and aren’t frequently seen.
Melchior is 17 liters in capacity, and it’s characteristic due to the fact that it holds two wine cases, or 24 standard bottles.
Then, there are Solomon, Sovereign, and Primat (also known as Goliath), which are 20, 26, and 27 liters, respectively.
Finally, the biggest wine bottle format is Melchizedek or Midas. This behemoth is 30 liters in capacity and can hold 40 standard bottles. That’s 200 wine glasses. You’ll definitely need help carrying this one to the cellar!
Why Buy Large-Format Bottles?
Here are a few questions we get asked. Why would you go through the effort of buying a large-sized bottle? Is it for the aesthetics? Is it just so that it can sit there and be flashy? Well, as it turns out, there is more to it than you might think. There are actual functional reasons for storing your wine inside a large-format bottle.
Large Bottles Are Simply Better
Let’s forget about the functional reasons, which dictate that a Standard and the Liter size are the best. Outside of these reasons, it’s actually better if you store wine in larger bottles. Let’s dig into this.
Do you know how wine ages? Essentially, the air moves in and out of the cork and interacts with the wine’s flavor components. The large bottles actually share the surface area for air transfer – the tiny cork at the top. However, there is a significantly large wine volume involved. This means that the wine stored in a large bottle will age at a slower speed than the same wine stored inside a Standard-size bottle.
This is precisely why many top-notch wines are often seen stored in large-format bottles.
Inside a large bottle, your cherished wine will not only age at a slower pace, but also more gracefully. So, the larger the bottle, the better your wine will age.
Large Bottles Are More Durable
To start off, the larger the bottle, the thicker and heavier the glass is. This protects the wine inside from humidity. You’ll also note that the large bottles are made out of dark-green glass, rather than the clear alternative. This is to keep the harmful light, which can compromise your wine, out. Yes, we know, you keep your wine in a cold, dry, dark space anyway. But over the many years of aging, even an occasional ray may lower the aging's effectiveness in the long-term.
The thick glass makes sure that the temperature inside the bottle is kept as stable as possible. There’s also the shock absorption factor to consider, which is incredibly important when the wine is being shipped across the world. The thicker the glass, the better the absorption.
You Can Find Them Cheap
Okay, so let’s get one thing clear – the larger the bottle, the more expensive it’s going to be. Thanks to the iconic regions like Napa, Champagne, and Bordeaux, we’re used to seeing hefty price tags on larger wine bottles. Be that as it may, these are very prestigious names.
But if you look to smaller producers from regions that are up-and-coming, you’ll find unique wine and large bottle choices. Plus, they won’t set you back too much. Millesima is a good example. They have many available formats, produce quality bottles, and are relatively affordable. Wine.com is also a great example.
A good thing to take note of here are wines like rosés, which are made to be drunk during the current vintage. Leave them out for much longer than that, and the taste will become stale. However, if you go with a large-sized bottle for your rosé, it will age more slowly, and you’ll pay less in the long run.
They Make for Brilliant Craft Bases and Centerpieces
Now, down to the aesthetics factor. Big bottles are simply more impressive. From date nights to holidays, large bottles simply scream “celebration!”
In addition to being brilliant for storing and aging wine, large-format bottles make for great decorations when they’re empty. Then, there are bottle crafts to browse around Pinterest for some creative home décor. Turn your large bottle into a candle holder, lamp, or vase, and make your interior even more impressive.
Which Size Is the Best?
This isn’t a question with a simple answer. If you’re going to a party and need some wine to drink there, a Standard-sized bottle is probably the best way to go. Liter-sized, at the most. But if you’re looking to age a lot of wine in your cellar, you’re best off looking at one of those ginormous sizes mentioned earlier.
When you have guests over, try buying a few Magnums online and surprise your friends.
As you can see, there are various wine bottle sizes available for different occasions. There isn’t a bottle that’s best for everything.
However, if you’re looking for something to store your wine at home and serve during a few guest visits, there’s your reason to buy Jeroboam online.
Where Can I Buy Large-Format Bottles Online
Well, truth to be told, there are a bunch of places online to do it. You can probably find wine bottles of all shapes and sizes on eCommerce websites. But you should avoid buying from random vendors. Why?
Well, the best wine is made with great care. Both widely-renowned and up-and-coming wineries pour passion into their product. They will go through a lot of effort to make perfect bottles in various shapes and sizes.
But that’s the thing – as mentioned earlier, the big names will put a dent in your bank account. In fact, you’ve probably already looked into the more expensive options, and you’ve come here to find the alternatives before going with some random eCommerce website.
Well, we’re here to tell you that you should support the up-and-comers. You can bet that their bottles aren’t too different from those made by the top wine names.
Still, choose carefully. The problem with the smaller wine businesses is that you can’t find a lot of information on them. So, hit some reliable wine forums. Ask around. There are plenty of affordable and quality options out there.
How to Tell If a Bottle of Wine Is Bad
First, you need to open the bottle. Opening a double magnum of wine or larger will take a bit of practice. Here is a video that demonstrates how to properly open a large-format wine bottle.
The principle here is pretty simple – if your wine has gone bad, chances are that your bottle is bad, as well. Of course, keep in mind that some wine types, like rosé, for example, aren’t made to last too long.
However, if you’re 100% certain that your wine is age-worthy and it has still gone bad, your bottle is to blame. Well, unless you’ve kept it in improper conditions, that is.
But how do you tell that wine has gone bad? Well, there are several factors that can lead you to this conclusion.
Signs Your Large Format Wine Bottle Failed
The first and the most apparent sign of a wine going bad is a weird smell. If the aroma is moldy or musty, the wine has turned. If it smells like wet cardboard or vinegar, it’s gone bad. Here is a list of odd wine smells that can give you clues as to what caused your bottle to go bad.
If the red wine tastes sweet, and it’s not Port or dessert wine, this indicates heat exposure. Heat exposure means that your bottle hasn’t managed to insulate the contents properly.
If the cork is pushed out of the bottle, even if only very slightly, it means that the wine has expanded due to overheating. This is another sign of a bottle without proper insulation (thickness).
If the color of the wine is sort of brownish, the wine is somewhat past its prime. This is especially true for white wines that have darkened to a deep yellow color.
If you detect flavors that seem chemical in nature, this is also a sign that wine has gone bad.
Wine that tastes fizzy means that the second fermentation has occurred due to improper bottle insulation. This is, of course, if the wine isn’t sparkling by nature.
Unfortunately, there isn’t an easier way to detect whether a bottle is good or bad. So, look for passionate vendors and make sure that the glass is thick, green, and that the seal is good. Keep the wine in a cool, dark, dry room.
When the Bottle Isn’t to Blame
Besides the scenario where you haven’t kept your wine in the recommended conditions, there is an instance where you shouldn’t blame the bottle on your wine going bad.
The moment wine comes into contact with air, it will start losing its freshness and fruitiness. Even if you reseal it properly, with the original cork, the original side-down, you should finish it within 2-3 days. Anything longer than that, and the wine will start losing its prime qualities. Don’t blame your bottle if this happens.
Large-Format Bottles of Wine
So, why buy large-format bottles? As we’ve learned, large-format bottles aren’t there only for show. They are much more resilient and will slow down the wine aging process. Not only that, but they will make the process more gracious.
Large-format wine bottles do tend to be more expensive than Standard-size options, but you can find them for reasonable prices if you look thoroughly. Knowing where to buy your wine is pretty much essential.
So, get the perfect bottle size for your needs, store your wine properly, and enjoy it at your convenience.