Saturday, May 02, 2009

Wine bottle sizes: a 400 year old hangover

Further to my last posting, this is just a thought about the unquestioned ubiquitousness of the 75cl bottle. Loaves of bread vary in size, as do books of poetry and bottles of beer, and indeed wine glasses. Wine of any quality however comes in 75cl - or very rarely 37.5, 150 or rarest of all 50cl bottles. No-one ever asks why? The reason, for anybody who cares, is that 70-75cl was the lung capacity of a French glass blower in the 17th century. When molds were introduced, they naturally followed the size of the hand-blown efforts and 350 or so years later we're still still stuck with the 1600s model. Which is even more ridiculous when one considers that the 17th century wine would probably have had a strength of 10% or so while its modern equivalent might weigh in at 14.5%

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