Size Of Container

Dear Sir, I am told that the bigger the bottle, the better the chances that the wine will last. Does that apply to spirits like cognac? In what sizes do cognac bottles come? Thanks.

Answer From Expert Roger Bohmrich MW

As far as wine is concerned, it seems that a larger than normal bottle does seem to prolong the wine's life, all other factors equal, perhaps because the trapped oxygen or head space is much less in relation to the liquid volume. Magnums (double the standard size) seem to be ideal, but there really isn't a great deal of scientific research to confirm this widely held view which I happen to share. Cognac comes in a range of bottle sizes that vary somewhat by country, but the 750 ml bottle in the U.S. (or 700 ml in other countries) is by far the most important in sales. Big brands such as Hennessy VS are also available in a very small sizes (50, 100 and 200 ml) as well as half bottle (375 ml). There are large format bottles sold in some places containing 1.5 liter and 3 liters.

About The Expert

Roger has enjoyed a lengthy career in the wine trade as an importer and retailer, and at present he is an educator, speaker and consultant. He set up and managed Millesima USA, a New York merchant affiliated with a leading European company. Previously, he served as senior executive of importers Frederick Wildman & Sons. In recent years, Roger has judged wine competitions in Argentina, Turkey and China. Roger became one of America's first Masters of Wine in 1993.

Visit Roger Bohmrich MW's web site