Specific varietals and wine types are best stored in certain bottle shapes and sizes. Every wine bottle shape and size has a history behind it. Equally important, is the storage of these bottles.
Wine Bottle History
Wine bottles began rapidly changing in the early to mid-1700s. There were a variety of factors:
- Cork was discovered as a fantastic sealing agent to prevent early again or foiling for wine.
- The discovery that a larger wine bottle will influence the taste of the wine as well as how it looks.
Within that discovery, it was found:
- Bordeaux wine preserves better in larger wine bottles. The larger bottle allows the wine to age slower in comparison to small bottles.
- The thicker glass allows the wine to age better as well. This feature levels out major temperature swings in the wine’s environment which helps the wine age better. However, if the bottleneck is too big, building the cork for the seal may be difficult.
WINE BOTTLE SIZES
In addition to unique sizes, wine bottles also have unique names. The bible inspired many of the names:
- Jeroboam – 4.5 Liters
- Rehoboam – 4.5 Liters for sparkling wine
- Methuselah – 6 Liters
- Salmanazar – 9 Liters
- Balthazar – 12 Liters
- Nebechuzar – 15 Liters
- Soloman – 18 Liters
Of course, these larger sizes are not very common. 750 ml bottles are the most common size. The three most common sizes for 750 ml bottles are Bordeaux, burgundy, and champagne bottles. In contrast, magnums are 1.5 liter bottles. Bordeaux bottles have high shoulders that are more pronounced. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc are typically in a Bordeaux bottle. On the other hand, burgundy bottles have lower, sloped shoulders. Chardonnay, Pinot, Pinot Noir, and Grenache are commonly in burgundy bottles.
If you have a combination of Bordeaux, burgundy, and champagne bottles you might have trouble storing them. The uneven bottle sizes make it tough to find a rack or a wine fridge that will fit them. Frequently, a wine fridge will advertise as holding 120 bottles but they really only mean Bordeaux bottles. Unfortunately, burgundy and champagne bottles can’t be stored in a fridge because they either won’t fit or take up too much space.
Ideally, for long term storage, you have a custom-made wine rack to suit your mix of different sized bottles. However, it is also possible to keep your wine stored in cases that can handle a wide array of bottles.
If you are looking for a wine locker in San Francisco or Marin contact Wine Storage Sausalito. We offer custom-built racks with different bottle slot sizes. With a professional refrigeration system you won’t have to worry about your wine fridge failing during a heatwave! Wine Storage Sausalito provides a quality alternative for those located in San Francisco, Sausalito, Mill Valley, Larkspur, Greenbrae, Corte Madera, Fairfax, San Rafael, San Anselmo, Novato, and any city nearby in the Bay Area.