Champagne bottle sizes

Published by Sally on October 17, 2010

This was supposed to be an easy-to-put-together item listing agreed sizes for Champagne bottles, but it turned into quite an arduous task for which terrier-like tenacity was required.  But I’m pretty confident the list below can be relied upon, in conjunction with the ‘notes to the accounts’ also, below.

Size in litres No. of bottles Traditional name
0.1875 or 0.2 litres

~ Quarter bottle

0.375 litres

Half bottle

0.75 litres


1.5 litres


3 litres


4.5 litres


Réhoboam *
6 litres


9 litres


12 litres


15 litres


18 litres


Solomon **
26.25 litres


27 litres


Primat ****
30 litres



Oxford Companion to Wine 3rd edition, 2006 (and pers. comm. with assistant editor)
CIVC (pers comms., Aug/Sep 2010)
UMC (website and pers comm., Sep 2010)


* The CIVC does not include the Réhoboam in its list of sizes, saying it no longer exists for Champagne, though both the OCW [2006] and the UMC do list it.

** The Solomon has proved the most controversial to pinpoint accurately. Both the CIVC and the UMC (Union of Champagne houses) state it at 18 litres / 24 bottles. Other sources, not cited here, have the Solomon variously at 20 litres /26.6 bottles, or 21 litres / 28 bottles, but I’m inclined to go with the CIVC and the UMC.
** Both the CIVC and the UMC deny the existence of the Melchior.  The CIVC says “the Melchior was never used in Champagne. There is no record in the known archives.”  The OCW says the Melchior is 18 litres /24 bottles (the size of the Solomon, here), but does not specify this size for Champagne, so the 18 litre /24 bottle Melchior could yet be a correct size/name for a different region. But it’s clear there is no Melchior in Champagne.  

*** The Sovereign is listed in the OCW as 34 bottles “in theory”, but direct communication with Taittinger, possibly the only producer to use this size, confirms it at 35 bottles.

**** The CIVC cites the Primat size above, but it is missing from the UMC list.

Part of the confusion arises because there are no specific rules for the larger formats as they are mostly created for special occasions (at very long lead-times).


8 Responses to “Champagne bottle sizes”

  1. Shelley Says:

    Thank you for all your background information and fact checking. This is a truly great article.

  2. Pekka Rantala Says:

    Nice information, thanks for that.
    I have a question to ask. I have bottle pf Laurent Perrier Brut NV and it says 77cl.
    Any idea wich year i can be?

  3. Brian Matuse Says:

    Since 77cl (centilitres) is .77 litres, and .75 litres is a bottle my guess would be that is really close to being a bottle.

  4. Ian Pearse Says:

    In case you need a mnemonic….

    ‘Mick Jagger Really Makes Splendid Belching Noises’

    I welcome suggestions for a different ‘B’

  5. Alan Thompson Says:

    (So says Paul McCartney) – just to complete the mnemonic!

  6. simon walker Says:

    I was searching for a round on drink for one of the quizzes I do and found this. Thanks for a very easy to follow and informative table

  7. Sally Says:

    You’re welcome. Glad it is useful.

  8. Jurek Says:

    Thank you for the detective work. My own mnemonic for the sizes (increasing in 3L increments) has long been “Jurek must surely be nuts” (cf my first name). Everyone knows that a Magnum is 1.5L so I didn’t see fit to include this in the mnemonic. And I do not accept the Réhoboam although I have heard it mentioned and wondered what it was. Thank you!

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