Today’s standard bottle of wine contains 750 milliliters, which comes out to just over 25 ounces. A standard restaurant pour is five ounces, meaning that each standard bottle will contain five glasses of wine.
The sizes and shapes of glass bottles have changed and evolved significantly throughout the years before the majority of the wine world settled on the 750-milliliter bottle around the early 1980s.
There is a multitude of different-sized wine bottles available for purchase today, ensuring the proper amount of wine can be purchased for any occasion and group size.
Breaking Down How Many Oz In A Bottle Of Wine
1. Glass Bottle History
Humans have been making wine for thousands of years, and in the early days of wine production, the product was stored in “amphorae” which are clay jars or flasks. Information like the producer and style of wine were stamped directly into the sides of the clay containers.
As the years went on, the Romans developed the technique of glass blowing, and glass bottles were found to be the superior storage vessel for wine.
Glass bottles allowed for container transparency, and the glass did not interact with the wine or impart any flavors.
Early hand-blown glass bottles were tough to make in uniform size, as glass blowing was a new technique and there was no way to standardize the process.
For this reason, customers would bring their own glass bottles when purchasing wine and were served a standard portion.
In the 1800s, advancements in manufacturing allowed for standardized bottle production, and most wine bottles at the time were between 700 milliliters and 800 milliliters.
Up until the 1950s, champagne bottles often contained 800 milliliters.
In 1979, the United States decided on 750 milliliters as the standard wine bottle size, which comes out to just over five ounces.
This allows for five “standard pours” from each bottle, and the European Union followed suit shortly after to simplify wine importation to the US.
2. Different Bottle Sizes
There are a number of different-sized wine bottles available for purchase today, and the esteemed Madeline Puckette of Wine Folly has labeled the following sizes as the most popular in use today!
- Split – A split is most often used with Champagne and holds a single serving for one person.
- Demie – The demie bottle holds half the amount of a standard bottle of wine, and is a suitable option for two people who would each like to enjoy only one glass of wine.
- Jennie – A jennie holds two-thirds the amount of a standard bottle of wine and contains just over three five-ounce glasses of wine.
- Standard – The standard wine bottle is the most common size in production today and holds 25 ounces, or five standard wine pours.
- Magnum – A magnum is a double-sized bottle of wine, and is most often presented as a gift.
- Double Magnum – The double magnum holds four bottles of wine. This is often the largest sized bottle found at large wine retailers and wineries.
- Jeroboam – The Jeroboam holds six standard bottles worth of wine, making it a great option for medium-sized parties and celebrations.
- Imperial – The imperial is equal to the size of two double magnums, or eight standard wine bottles. At this size, it is difficult for one sommelier to handle the large bottle, and two servers are often needed to ensure proper pouring.
- Salmanazar – The Salmanazar holds the equivalent of a full case of wine in just one bottle, totaling the same amount of fluid as 12 standard bottles, and containing almost 61 five-ounce pours.
- Balthazar – The balthazar holds enough wine to serve over 80 glasses, and is equal to 16 standard bottles of wine.
- Nebuchadnezzar – Totaling in at the equivalent of 20 standard wine bottles, the nebuchadnezzar contains enough wine to pour over 100 glasses, making it the ultimate showpiece at large weddings, anniversary parties, and other large-scale celebrations.
- Solomon – The Solomon is the largest wine bottle produced by many bottle makers today and is massive enough to hold two full cases of wine inside, or 24 bottles. Bottles are not often made larger than this, as they become extremely heavy and tough to transport.
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3. Ounces vs Milliliters
While the Imperial system is standard in the United States today, most of the rest of the world uses the Metric system of measurement. For this reason, wine is usually measured in milliliters, and not ounces.
When deciding on the size of a “standard” wine bottle, the United States chose 750 milliliters for its similarity to the American Fifth, a measurement used in hard liquor sales.
An ounce is equal to just under 30 milliliters, and there is a simple formula for determining the number of ounces in a bottle of wine.
Simply take the number of milliliters displayed on the bottle, and divide that number by 29.57. The result will be the number of fluid ounces present.