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It is time to define another wine term. In my crosshairs: the mighty, mighty… Jeroboam.

A wine bottle of extravagant proportions—the Jeroboam, whose name is derived from the Bible, more accurately a derivative of the name of the first king of Northern Israel—encompasses six bottles worth of wine when talking about Bordeaux and four bottles worth of liquid when talking about Burgundy or Champagne.

The Jeroboam is a large format bottle, ideal for the collector because it is believed to be a better way to age the wine slowly (especially in regards to Bordeaux), as opposed to 750ml worth of wine confined in a tight package that will not have the room to age as comfortably.

The Jeroboam may not be suited for everyone. Reserved for serious collectors (or people with serious partying habits… I kid), because you must have the space to house this enormous bottle. Cellaring also becomes a challenge, to accommodate the hefty size in shelves that may have been constructed for standard format (750ml) lighter bottles; the Jeroboam will clearly not fit nor can the racks bear the weight. Cumbersome.

Embracing the larger bottle or not, the Jeroboam is a fun word to know and throw out there at a party (like the other nonstandard size names), it is also a lot of wine to down! In the words of that famous adage and a tribute to the world’s most interesting man:

“Stay thirsty my friends.”

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