Did You Know The Largest Champagne Bottle Is Called Melchizedek
If you create the world’s most giant wine bottle, you get to name it. So Michel Drappier calls the 30-liter wine bottle the “Melchisedech.”
He makes 25 Melchisedechs a year, and six to seven burst from the pressure. The rest he sells for 4500 euros (about $6000 each).
That might sound like a lot, but the bottle alone costs 1500 euros (about $2000). And 30 liters, that’s 40 normal-sized bottles of Champagne. Drappier says he doesn’t make a profit on them; he likes being the biggest.
Because of the potential for explosion, a Champagne manufacturer is an unlikely candidate to make the world’s giant wine bottle. There’s a good story.
“We had a good customer, a doctor whose name was Balthazar,” Drappier says. “So he wanted a Balthazar (a 12-liter bottle) every year for his birthday. But he had more and more friends, and his birthday celebration grew. The Balthazar was too small. We created a Nebuchadnezzar (15 liters) for him. Still too small. His birthday party just got bigger every year.”
Other companies make Nebuchadnezzars; not a lot, but they’re out there. Go past 15 liters, and you’re into the realm of true exotica. I could not find evidence of a still wine made in anything larger than a Melchior (18 liters). Drappier blew past that years ago, special ordering from Italy a 27-liter bottle he named the Primat, and finally, the Melchisedech.
“I used the worst name to remember,” Drappier says. “I looked up all the kings of Babylon; all the others are kings of Babylon. But now it’s finished. We won’t produce anything larger.”
Drappier says pouring the Melchisedech is a two-person job. He recommends that buyers pour it into a few decanters, pitchers, or other large receptacles (the Tokyo Dome?) rather than try and hit the target on wine flutes.
The sad news is that Balthazar, the good doctor, never drank from the Melchisedech; he passed away. Hopefully, in Heaven, there’s a 36-liter bottle. Maybe he gets to name it.
Nebuchadnezzars are 15 Litres of Champagne and are equal to 20 standard Champagne bottles. Large bottles of Champagne are named after biblical figures, and the Nebuchadnezzar refers to a king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar the Great, King of the Chaldeans from 605-562 BC. Under his rule, Babylon became the cultural center of the western world.
Nebuchadnezzars are the largest mainstream Champagne bottles available that are still easy to pour with two people! Great for a launch or statement party.
It is equivalent to Twenty 750 ml standard bottles.
Next week we explore why the names are after biblical kings!
Champagne Bottle Sizes