Wine Bottle Sizes


Handy reference to settle arguments around the table and Biblical Kings Abound:

187.5ml Piccolo or Split: It is typically used for a single serving;

375ml Demi or Half;

500ml Jennie / Half Carafe;

750ml Standard;

1.0L Litre / Carafe;

1.5L Magnum: or two standard bottles;

2.25L Marie Jeanne;

3.0L Double Magnum / Jeroboam –  four standard bottles;

4.5L Rehoboam: six standard bottles (Champagne);

6.0L Imperiale / Methuselah: eight standard bottles;

9.0L Salmanazar: twelve standard bottles / a case;

12.0L Balthazar: sixteen standard bottles;

15.0L Nebuchadnezzar: twenty standard bottles;

18.0L Melchior: twenty-four standard bottles;

26.25L Sovereign / Champagne Taittinger;

27.0L Primat / Goliath (Champagne);

30.0L Melchizedek




Illustration credit:

Robert Parker’s Vintage Wine Chart – September 2015


This still looks like chewing gum for the eyes but essentially Gold, Purple & Red are good, Blue is swallowable, Green and Black – spit.


Courtesy of Robert M. Parker. Download most recent hires pdf from his site here







The taxing cost of drinking Wine in Ireland

The recent imposition of an additional 45% / €1 in excise duty on a standard 75cl bottle of wine will add well over €2.50 to the cost for a customer of a bottle of wine in a restaurant.

Greedy, cynical, self interested Government politicans & officials thinking: those who drink wine can afford to pay a few extra Euro. Tosh.

A wine drinker imbibing three €10 bottles a week already contributes €633 in Duty and VAT per year, this nasty tax rise will add over €150 to that figure, coming close to a grand in tax for the annual pleasure of sipping even average fermented grapes.

The duty is now €3.19 (€6.37 on a bottle of Fizz) and as most Shippers, Restaurateurs and Retailers regard duty as a cost, a full 23% of the total cost on or off trade is VAT.

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The tax take on a €10 bottle of wine is approximately 50%, but reduces to about a third of a €20 bottle of wine. And, you are getting significantly more grape and terroir; technically 5 times the quality in a €20 bottle as in a €10 bottle.

This quality rises exponentially the more you invest.

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So a suggestion:

Drink less but enjoy better value by spending more per bottle;

Buy good or better quality wine to reduce the tax take to those inept and cynical twonk Politicans & Civil Servants;

Of course, the Revenue still get their money and the distributor and retailers still retain their margins, however, you will be getting a much better wine and will help to add more value for the producer.

Stop whining I hear you say.

We spit so you don’t have to …

… writes Ernie Whalley in last week’s Sunday Times 2013 Wine Companion, an insert in the July 14th edition.


110 wines tasted and reviewed.

Can’t say I disagree with the methodology or even with most of the tasting comments, though I have heard a few of them before.

In fact, I think Whalley’s Terroir notes are quite good.

What strikes me is the types and status of wines tasted and promoted by a mass middle market ‘Quality’ Sunday Newspaper.

Not to mention the vast value for money producing regions and territories completely ignored by a Wine ‘companion’.

Puglia. Loire Valley. Sardinia. Anyone?

A quick tot reveals that it would cost almost €2500 to stock your cellar with just one of each of the 110 bottles.

Yielding an average cost of €22.33 per bottle tasted.


A hefty wedge for a bottle of wine.

For which you would, not unreasonably, expect the wine to rate in the top Decile.

At these prices, swallow, don’t spit.

As one of my sisters in law says, there’s no need to spend more than a tenner a bottle in the off-trade these days, even with our tyrannical excise duty and VAT on wine.

Certainly for everyday drinking, given the many promotions and competition between the multiples.

For special occasions – and perhaps this is what the Sunday Times is aiming for, like its Michelin 3 Star  AA Gill restaurant reviews – OK perhaps, but it smacks to me of: we have a great idea; let’s set up a wine club; review the wines the shippers will give us the best deals on; get a local hack on board; flog the hell out of it – the more expensive the better – the more we’ll make.


Me, perhaps.

The Sunday Times, yes.

Maybe we should all spit.