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The best wine estates from South Africa

The Magnum Bottle

The bottle size of a Magnum bottle influences the flavour quality of a wine. The same blend generally tastes more harmonious when it comes from a large wine bottle than when it has been poured from a 0.75l bottle and also matures better in the larger kind. The choice of a Magnum bottle hints at a sophisticated content. They are usually pricier in the production than their normal-sized counterpart which is why winemakers will only pour their best wines into a Magnum bottle. The wine is perfectly protected in it because the thicker and therefore darker glass lets less light shine through. In larger containers, the maturation process is slowed down which is indeed wanted with good vintages. A wine’s quality in such a large size generally increases since in relation to the content, less oxygen touches the wine and it can therefore ripen more gently.


A Magnum bottle is suited for larger parties, for example, birthdays, weddings or New Year’s Eve and is downright ideal for noble Collector’s Editions since their value significantly increases with time. At special occasions, the Magnum bottle makes quite the impression and stylishly upgrades every party. It stands for the special aspect of the day and underlines the festive occasion with its elegance.


The History of Wine Bottles

It was not until the 17th century when glass bottles were developed for the storage and production of wine. Before that, the winemakers almost exclusively vinified wine in barrels and stored it in vats. To make it last longer, resin or sugar was often added to the wine – alternatively, it was diluted. It was only due to the development of glass bottles that wines as we know them today were produced. As of the 19th century, glass bottles became the most important container for wine because glass is chemically neutral. This enabled a good storage and careful further maturation of the wine, especially pronounced with the larger variations such as the Magnum bottle. At the beginning, the shape of the bottle was quite bellied and bottles from this time are often reminiscent of a large onion. With time though, the bottle shape became more and more cylindrical.


Various Bottle Shapes and Sizes

Through the centuries, many different bottle shapes have emerged. The four basic types are: Burgundy bottle, Bordeaux bottle, hock bottle as well as the popular Champagne bottle. Besides the bottle shape, the bottle size can also vary. The different kinds of bottle sizes have different names that are often derived from the Bible. The normal bottle has a capacity of 0.75l and has been standardised by the EU since 1977. Not all countries have implemented these regulations though; for example, in the USA and Switzerland, the capacity varies from 0.7l up to 0.8l. Quite well-known bottle sizes are: Piccolo (0.25l), Demi – also called half bottle – (0.375l), Magnum (1.5l), Double Magnum (3l), Jeroboam (5l), Imperial and Methuselah (6l), Salmanazar (9l), Balthazar (12l), Nebuchadnezzar (15l), Goliath – also called Melchior – (18l), Solomon (20l) and Sovereign (26,5l or 50l). The most famous and widespread however is the Magnum bottle.