Most bottles of wine we are 750 milliliters. Why 750? The number originates in the relationship between French wine exporters and their most important clients, the British, in the late 1800's. Because England was then home to the largest and best glass-bottle factories, most wine was shipped from France in barrels and then bottled in Britain. However, the two countries did not use the same volume measurement system, so the British came up with a way to simplify the conversion. Since a standard barrel of wine from Bordeaux, France, is 225 liters, the British decided that this was the perfect quantity for creating three hundred bottles. Thus, the 750-milliliter bottle was born.
A half bottle is therefore 375 milliliters. These are much more scarce in the marketplace, mainly because some specialized equipment and additional logistics are required in order to bottle in this format. Most wineries do not own their bottling line and rely on a mobile bottling truck to come to them a couple of times each year. Some of these trucks are not outfitted to bottle half bottles. Even if they are, ordering the different bottles requires more capital and planning, two things that can be in short supply in the sometimes chaotic world of wine.
It makes sense that half bottles in both retail and restaurant settings tend to cost a little bit more than one half of the full-bottle price. Still, this extra cost is often worth it. Half bottles can come in extremely handy when traveling or dining alone. If you are looking to enjoy a white wine with your first course, and a red wine with your main course, this is definitely the way to go. Restaurants that are committed to sourcing a more robust selection of half bottles are truly providing an extra service to their diners.
One other thing to keep in mind regarding half bottles is that they age more quickly than standard bottles. This has to do with the small quantity of wine being impacted by the exchange of oxygen through the cork or screw cap. This makes a half bottle the perfect way to enjoy a highly age-able wine such as a Barolo or Napa Cabernet a little bit earlier on in its life.
Since half bottles can be a little bit difficult to find, we are pleased to offer a package that includes two of them with three artisan cheeses. SipSend is the most easy and efficient way to send wine and cheese to your team. It’s a great chance for tasting them together, determining whether the white or red goes best with each cheese. We also include a tasting note card that can be customized just by uploading your logo to our platform. We hope to send some of these half-bottle wine and cheese refreshment kits your way soon!