Wine Volume Conversions

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Wine Bottle - A wine bottle is a bottle used for holding wine, generally made of glass. Some wines are fermented in the bottle, others are bottled only after fermentation. They come in a large variety of sizes, several named for Biblical kings and other figures. The standard bottle contains 75 cL, although this is a relatively recent development. Wine bottles are usually sealed with cork, but screw-top caps are becoming popular, and there are several other methods used to seal a bottle.

Wine producers in Portugal, Italy, Spain, France and Germany follow the tradition of their local areas in choosing the shape of bottle most appropriate for their wine. Port, sherry, and Bordeaux varieties: straight-sided and high-shouldered with a pronounced punt. Port and sherry bottles may have a bulbous neck to collect any residue. Burgundies and Rhone varieties: tall bottles with sloping shoulders and a smaller punt. Rhine (also known as hock or hoch), Mosel, and Alsace varieties: narrow and tall with little or no punt. Champagne and other sparkling wines: thick-walled and wide with a pronounced punt and sloping shoulders. German wines from Franconia: the Bocksbeutel bottle. The Chianti and some other Italian wines: the fiasco, a round-bottomed flask encased in a straw basket. Many North and South American, South African, and Australasian wine producers select the bottle shape they wish to associate their wines with. For instance, a producer who believes his wine is similar to Burgundy may choose to bottle his wine in Burgundy-style bottles. Other producers (both in and out of Europe) have chosen idiosyncratic bottle styles for marketing purposes. Pere-Anselme markets its Chateauneuf-du-Pape in bottles that appear half-melted. The Moselland company of Germany has a riesling with a bottle in the shape of a house cat. The home wine maker may use any bottle, as the shape of the bottle does not affect the taste of the finished product. The sole exception is in producing sparkling wine, where thicker-walled bottles should be used to handle the excess pressure.

The traditional colours used for wine bottles are - Bordeaux: dark green for reds, light green for dry whites, clear for sweet whites. Burgundy and the Rhone: dark green. Mosel and Alsace: dark to medium green, although some producers have traditionally used amber. Rhine: amber, although some producers have traditionally used green. Clear bottles have recently become popular with white wine producers in many countries, including Greece, Canada and New Zealand. Most red wine worldwide is still bottled in green glass.

Most wine bottles finished with a cork (as opposed to a screwcap) have a protective sleeve called a capsule (commonly referred to as a "foil") covering the top of the bottle. Capsules were historically made of lead, and protected the cork from being gnawed away by rodents or infested with cork weevil. Because of research showing that trace amounts of toxic lead could remain on the lip of the bottle and mix with the poured wine, lead capsules (lead foil bottleneck wrappings) were slowly phased out, and by the 1990s, most capsules were made of tin, heat-shrink plastic (polyethylene or PVC), or aluminium. Sealing wax is sometimes used, or the capsule can be omitted entirely, since it is not needed with some modern stoppers. In the US, the FDA finally officially banned lead foil capsules on domestic and imported wine bottles as of 1996.

A punt, also known as a kick-up, refers to the dimple at the bottom of a wine bottle. There is no consensus explanation for its purpose. The more commonly cited explanations include: it is a historical remnant from the era when wine bottles were free blown using a blowpipe and pontil. This technique leaves a punt mark on the base of the bottle; by indenting the point where the pontil is attached, this scar would not scratch the table or make the bottle unstable. It had the function of making the bottle less likely to topple over -- a bottle designed with a flat bottom only needs a small imperfection to make it unstable -- the dimple historically allowed for a larger margin of error. It consolidates sediment deposits in a thick ring at the bottom of the bottle, preventing it from being poured into the glass. It increases the strength of the bottle, allowing it to hold the high pressure of sparkling wine/champagne. It holds the bottles in place on pegs of a conveyor belt as they go through the filling process in manufacturing plants. It accommodates the pourer's thumb for stability and ease of pouring. According to legend the punt was used by servants. They often knew more than their master about what was happening in town, and with a thumb up the punt they could show their master whether a guest was reliable or not. (Vinavisen 19 may 2008 - danish). It provides a grip for riddling a bottle of sparkling wine manually in the traditional champagne production process. It simply takes up some of the volume of the bottle, giving the impression that you're getting more wine for your money than is actually the case. Taverns had a steel pin set vertically in the bar. The empty bottle would be thrust bottom-end down onto this pin, puncturing a hole in the top of the punt, guaranteeing the bottle could not be refilled. The punt acts as a lens, refracting the light to make the color of the wine more appealing, and prevents the bottle from resonating as easily, decreasing the likelihood of shattering during transportation. Lastly, it allows bottles to be more easily stacked end to end.

Wine Glass - A wine glass is a type of glass stemware which is used to drink and taste wine. It is generally composed of three parts: the bowl, stem, and foot. Selection of a particular wine glass for a wine style is important, as the glass shape can influence its perception.

It is important to note the most obvious, but often most neglected, part of the wine glass-the stem. The proper way to drink from the wine glass, especially when drinking white or otherwise chilled wine, is to grasp it by the stem and drink. The purpose of this is so the temperature of the wine is not affected when holding the glass. This is achieved because the stem is not in direct contact with the wine. It would be more difficult to control the temperature of the wine if one held the glass by the bowl because it is in direct contact with the wine. Also, holding the glass by the bowl will leave fingerprints, which can distort the visual appearance of the wine when examining the clarity and color of the wine. Last but not least, the proper sound when clinking glasses requires them to be held by the stem.

Wine glasses made of fused or cut glass will often interfere with the flavor of the wine, as well as creating a rough, thick lip, from which it is not as pleasurable to drink. Blown glass results in a better vessel, with a thinner lip, and is usually acceptable for casual wine drinkers. High quality wine glasses are often made of lead crystal, which is not technically crystal, but is merely called it through convention. Lead crystal glasses' advantages are primarily aesthetic, having a higher index of refraction, thus changing the effect of light passing through them. They are also heavier. Using lead in the crystal matrix also offers several advantages in the material's workability during production. Wine glasses are generally not colored or frosted as this would impede the appreciation of its color. An exception to this rule is the hock glass.

The shape of the glass is also very important, as it concentrates the flavor and aroma (or bouquet) to emphasize the varietal's characteristic. One common belief is that the shape of the glass directs the wine itself into the best area of the mouth from the varietal. Generally, the opening of the glass is not wider than the widest part of the bowl. The stem of a glass provides a way to hold the glass without warming the wine from body heat. Visually, a stem prevents fingerprints from smearing the glass. A new trend for wine glasses is the "stemless" wine glass which come in a variety of sizes and shapes as well. These glasses are typically more casual than their traditional counterparts, as they negate the benefits of using stemmed wine glasses..Except for the wine connoisseur, wine glasses can be divided into three types: red wine glasses, white wine glasses, and champagne flutes.

Red wine glasses - Glasses for red wine are characterized by their rounder, wider bowl, which increases the rate of oxidization. As oxygen from the air chemically interacts with the wine, flavor and aroma are subtly altered. This process of oxidization is generally more compatible with red wines, whose complex flavors are smoothed out after being exposed to air. Red wine glasses can have particular styles of their own, such as Bordeaux glass: tall with a broad bowl, and is designed for full bodied red wines like Cabernet and Merlot as it directs wine to the back of the mouth. Burgundy glass: broader than the Bordeaux glass, it has a bigger bowl to accumulate aromas of more delicate red wines such as Pinot Noir. This style of glass directs wine to the tip of the tongue.

White wine glasses - White wine glasses vary enormously in size and shape, from the delicately tapered Champagne flute, to the wide and shallow glasses used to drink Chardonnay. Different shaped glasses are used to accentuate the unique characteristics of different styles of wine. Wide mouthed glasses function similarly to red wine glasses discussed above, promoting rapid oxidization which alters the flavor of the wine. White wines which are best served slightly oxidized are generally full flavored wines, such as oaked chardonnay. For lighter, fresher styles of white wine, oxidization is less desirable as it is seen to mask the delicate nuances of the wine. To preserve a crisp, clean flavor, many white wine glasses will have a smaller mouth, which reduces surface area and in turn, the rate of oxidization. In the case of sparkling wine, such as Champagne or Asti Spumante, an even smaller mouth is used to keep the wine sparkling longer in the glass.

Champagne flutes - Champagne flutes are characterised by a long stem with a tall, narrow bowl on top. The shape is designed to keep sparkling wine desirable during its consumption. The glass is designed to be held by the stem to help prevent the heat from the hand from warming the champagne. The bowl itself is designed in a manner to help retain the signature carbonation in the beverage. This is achieved by reducing the surface area at the opening of the bowl. Additionally the flute design adds to the aesthetic appeal of champagne, allowing the bubbles to travel further due to the narrow design, giving a far more pleasent visual appeal.

Sherry glass - A sherry glass is drinkware generally used for serving aromatic alcoholic beverages, such as sherry, port, aperitifs, and liqueurs, and layered shooters. An ISO-standard sized sherry glass is 120 millilitres (4.2 imp fl oz; 4.1 US fl oz). The copita, with its aroma-enhancing narrow taper, is a type of sherry glass.

Balthazar - A balthazar, name derived from one of the three wise men of early christian folklore, is equivalent to 12.0 liters of wine.

Bottle - A standard wine bottle contains 0.75 liters of wine.

Glass - A standard wine glass contains roughly .15 liters of wine.

Half Bottle - A half bottle contains 375 mL of wine.

Imperial - An imperial contains 6 liters of wine.

Jeroboam - A jeroboam, named for the biblical first king of the Northern Kingdom, contains either 3 or 4.5 liters of wine.

Liter - The litre or liter (see spelling differences) is a unit of volume. There are two official symbols: the Latin letter L in lower and upper case (l and L). The lower case L is also often written as a cursive l, though this symbol has no official approval by any international bureau. Although the litre is not an SI unit, it is accepted for use with the SI, and has appeared in several versions of the metric system. The official SI unit of volume is the cubic metre (m3). One litre is equal to 0.001 cubic metre and is denoted as 1 cubic decimetre (dm3). The word litre is derived from an older French unit, the litron, whose name came from Greek via Latin. The original French metric system used the litre as a base unit. The spelling of the word used by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures is "litre". This spelling is also the usual one in English in most English speaking countries, but the usual American English spelling is "liter", which is officially endorsed by the United States.

Litres are most commonly used for items (such as fluids and berries) which are measured by the capacity or size of their container, whereas cubic metres (and derived units) are most commonly used for items measured either by their dimensions or their displacements. The litre is often also used in some calculated measurements, such as density (kg/L), allowing an easy comparison with the density of water. One litre of water has a mass of almost exactly one kilogram when measured at its maximal density, which occurs at about 4 degrees Celsius. Similarly: 1 millilitre of water has about 1 g of mass; 1,000 litres of water has about 1,000 kg of mass. This relationship is because the gram was originally defined as the mass of 1 mL of water. However, this definition was abandoned in 1799 because the density of water changes with temperature and, very slightly, pressure.

In 1795, the litre was introduced in France as one of the new "Republican Measures", and defined as one cubic decimetre. In 1879, the CIPM adopted the definition of the litre, and the symbol l (lowercase letter L). In 1901, at the 3rd CGPM conference, the litre was redefined as the space occupied by 1 kg of pure water at the temperature of its maximum density (3.98 °C) under a pressure of 1 atm. This made the litre equal to about 1.000 028 dm3 (earlier reference works usually put it at 1.000 027 dm3). In 1964, at the 12th CGPM conference, the original definition was reverted to, and thus the litre was once again defined in exact relation to the metre, as another name for the cubic decimetre, that is, exactly 1 dm3. In 1979, at the 16th CGPM conference, the alternative symbol L (uppercase letter L) was adopted. It also expressed a preference that in the future only one of these two symbols should be retained, but in 1990 said it was still too early to do so.

In spoken English, the abbreviation "mL" (for millilitre) is often pronounced as "mil", which is homophonous with the colloquial term "mil", which is intended to mean "one thousandth of a metre". This generally does not create confusion, because the context is usually sufficient - one being a volume, the other a linear measurement. The colloquial use of "mil" for millimetre for an ambiguous topic as in "5 mils of rain fell since 9am" may, however, be confusing. And in the United States a term of the same spelling and pronunciation means a thousandth of an inch.

The abbreviation cc (for cubic centimetre, equal to a millilitre or mL) is a unit of the cgs system, that preceded the MKS system, that later evolved into the SI system. The abbreviation cc is still commonly used in many fields including (for example) sizing for motorcycle and related sports for small combustion engine displacement; larger engines, such as automobile engines, do have their displacement measured in litres.

In European countries where the metric system was established well before the adoption of the SI standard, there is still carry-over of usage from the precursor cgs and MKS systems. In the SI system, use of prefixes for multiples of 1,000 is preferred and all other multiples discouraged. However, in countries where these other multiples were already established, their use remains common. In particular, use of the centi (10-2), deci (10-1), deca (10+1), and hecto (10+2) prefixes are still common. For example, in many European countries, the hectolitre is the typical unit for production and export volumes of beverages (milk, beer, soft drinks, etc) and for measuring the size of the catch and quotas for fishing boats; decilitres are found in cookbooks; centilitres indicate the capacity of drinking glasses and of small bottles. In colloquial Dutch in Belgium, a 'vijfentwintiger' and a 'drieendertiger' (literally 'twenty-fiver' and 'thirty-threer') are the common beer glasses, the corresponding bottles mention 25 cL or 33 cL. Bottles may also be 75 cL or half size at 37.5 cL for 'artisanal' brews or 70 cL for wines or spirits. Cans come in 25 cL, 33 cL and 50 cL aka 0.5 L. Family size bottles as for soft drinks or drinking water use the litre (0.5 L, 1 L, 1.5 L, 2 L), and so do beer barrels (50 L, or the half sized 25 L). This unit is most common for all other household size containers of liquids, from thermocans, by buckets, to bath tubs; as well as for fuel tanks and consumption for heating or by vehicles.

In countries where the metric system was adopted as the official measuring system after the SI standard was established, common usage more closely follow contemporary SI conventions. For example, in Canada where the metric system is now in widespread use, consumer beverages are labelled almost exclusively using litres and millilitres. Hectolitres sometimes appear in industry, but centilitres and decilitres are rarely, if ever, used. Larger volumes are usually given in cubic metres (equivalent to 1 kL), or thousands or millions of cubic metres. The situation is similar in Australia, although kilolitres, megalitres and gigalitres are commonly used for measuring water consumption, reservoir capacities and river flows. For larger volumes of fluids, such as annual consumption of tap water, lorry (truck) tanks, or swimming pools, the cubic metre is the general unit, as it is generally for all volumes of a non-liquid nature.

Magnum - A magnum contains 1.5 liters of wine.

Methuselah - A methuselah, named after the bible's oldest man, contains 6 liters of wine.

Nebucadnezzar - A nebuchadnezzar, named after the biblical king of Babylon, contains 15 liters of wine.

Fluid Ounce - A fluid ounce (abbreviated fl oz, fl. oz. or oz. fl.) is a unit of volume equal to about 29 ml. It is used in both the imperial and the US customary systems, and it is sometimes referred to simply as an ounce in cases where no confusion with the unit of weight (also called an ounce) is likely to occur.

Rehoboam - A rehoboam, named after the biblical first king of Judea, contains 4.5 liters of wine.

Salmanazar - A salmanazar, named for the biblical Assyrian king, contains 9 liters of wine.

Wine Split (Piccolo) - A piccolo, or split, named for "small" in Italian, contains .1875 liters of wine.