A bottle of wine

July 24, 2014

I would bet that a lot of people drinking wine don’t always pay attention to a small but interesting detail: the size of the bottle. Why is a standard bottle of wine 75 centilitres and not 1 litre as one might suppose?

To understand why French as well as other winemakers have chosen this unit of measure, we will have to travel back into the past.

A very long time ago, in the 19th century, the French regularly sold wine to their neighbours – the English. The latter had their own unit of mesure – a gallon (4,54609 litres). As you know, in France  the customer is king. Therefore, to please their English clients,  the French winemakers adopted the « British » measurement and  started making barrels of 55 gallons.

55 gallons = approx. 225 litres of wine. To facilitate the calculation of the transported wine (the figure had to be round), 225 litres corresponded to 300 bottles of 75 cl.


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