- Biblical Bottles -

Magnum, Magnums, thirsty thursday, Wine Bottle -

- Biblical Bottles -

I had the amazing opportunity to work at a private party a few weeks ago. My first since pre-covid, and I can't lie, it felt like a weird new world.

31 guests, private chef and sous chef, four-course meal, all presented with myself and another sommelier in a gorgeous West Side mansion. Story time from some NHL Alumni Guest's, Grammy-winner piano performance, What fun!

(I still slightly resent the fact their kitchen island was bigger than my entire living room, but I digress.) 

Everything went off without a hitch, but one thing I loved most about this party was that the hosts invested in two beautiful "Bordeaux" Jeroboam's 5 litre magnums of San Felice "Il Grigio" Chianti Classico - 2008 vintage.  We started the evening off with easy drinking Burgundy but this show stopper stole the show.


Made only from the finest Sangiovese grapes carefully selected from the estate Chianti Classico vineyards, this Reserva represents the perfect blend of the traditional and the modern. It spends some 24 months in oak (20% in small barriques and one year in the bottle). The front label bears Titian’s famous portrait of a medieval knight in armour. 

San Gregorio Chianti

Its consistency and flavour supplied all 31 guests with plenty of wine was a treat. But why do we call this bottle of wine a "Jeroboam?"

Well, let's start with the basics.

A standard bottle (750 ml) of wine contains approximately five servings of wine. So, why should you consider large-format wine?


Larger format bottles of wine tend to age more gracefully (due to less oxygen exposure). Plus, there can be some AMAZING value gems hidden on many of your favourite restaurant's wine list. Other than bringing the "wow" to your next get-together, there are plenty of amazing stories behind the origin of the names of these bottles. Interestingly tied too many biblical references, the names of these bottles may up for modernization. 

Deriving from biblical and historical figures, these bottles were named after major historical characters to reinforce their importance to society at the time, such as the “Jeroboam,” which was named after the first biblical king of the Northern kingdom of Israel.


Here are some others:

Rehoboam - 4.5 L - holds 6 standard bottles. The name is biblical and comes from the son of Solomon and the grandson of the famous David (and Goliath).

Methuselah - 6 L - 8 bottles of wine, 40 glasses - named after the oldest man in the bible, who died one week before the Great flood at the age of 969 years.

Salmanazar - 9 L - 12 bottles (a FULL CASE) named after an Assyrian King Salmanazar was king of Assyria from 727-722 BC. The Assyrians were a very ancient Semitic people whose civilization had emerged in the early Bronze Age, and is known for the fall of the Kingdom of Israel.

Balthazar - 12 L - 16 standard bottles - 80 glasses of wine. Named after one of the three wise men. Balthazar is traditionally referred to as the King of Macedonia and gave the gift of myrrh to Jesus.


Nebuchadnezzar - 15 L - 20 bottles of wine (100 glasses!!) Named for the longest-ruling king of Babylon.

Sizes continue up to 30 L - Called a Midas or Melchizedek - 40 bottles of wine… and will cost its weight in gold - we guarantee it!


Think about the next party, large dinner meeting, or wedding your throwing as an opportunity to open and drink some of the best wines in the world while impressing your company! Nothing is cooler than opening a bomb dot com bottle and never having to order more than once!

Have you ever drank wine from a magnum ? What wine would you want to drink if you could? Do you believe that at least when it comes to wine, bigger is actually better? 


Until next week - Stay thirsty, xx


Emelia Coryn
Sommelier & Artist In Residence
Bug And Olive Mercantile




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