Have you ever wondered why the standard wine bottle holds 750 ml of the good stuff? Wouldn't one liter make more sense? Most of us would be happy to finish the additional 250 ml, right?
We decide to do a little research and find the origin of the 750 ml bottle. We also wanted to know when 750 ml was made the standard bottle size around the world.
When Did 750 ml become the standard wine bottle size
Why 750 ml became the global standard for wine bottle sizes is easier to answer than why 750 ml was a popular size, to begin with. Global trade was expanding during the 1970s. Wine was being moved in great quantities between continental European countries, the UK, and the US. There were many different bottle sizes in use at the time. The UK and US relied on old Anglo-Saxon measures like the gallon, or the popular "fifth" container size. Countries like France and Italy used metric measures.
The diversity of bottle sizes slowed down the customs process and made calculating taxes difficult. A standard was needed to smooth global trade and allow for efficient tax collection (who doesn't love efficient tax collection?) That's how we all ended up drinking out of 750 ml bottles. There are exceptions of course. You can order large format wine bottles online or find them at some stores.
Why was the 750 ml wine bottle so popular to begin with
The origin story of the ubiquitous 750 ml bottle is shrouded in mystery. Well, maybe it's more accurate to say it's not clearly documented. We do have some good leads on why bottles of approximately 750 ml were pretty easily obtained by winemakers. The story goes that the maximum exhalation of the average glassblower created a bottle that could hold around 700 - 750 ml of liquid. Is this true? I don't really know, but that's the story. The size of your wine bottle comes down to lung capacity.
There are a few other theories that are worth a mention. Some believe that the 750 ml bottle size was created because it could hold exactly six glasses of the standard wine serving at an Italian restaurant. Another thought, that seems a little off to us, was that the 750 ml of wine was the perfect amount to drink during a meal. That must have made for a lively dinner table!
We hope you have a little better understanding of why there are endless shelves of 750 ml bottles stretching around the globe. The combination of tax efficiency and lung capacity has created a standard that will likely be with us for a long time. Cheers!