bottle size - Printable Version

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- texlizr - 01-20-2001 11:22 PM

My husband and I disagree on the term used for a standard bottle size. He calls it a fifth. Please help me settle this.

- Drew - 01-21-2001 04:33 AM

texlizr, welcome. Ain't marriage blissful?
Actually you're both right. The standard wine bottle holds 750ml, which is, for argument purposes, 1/5 of a gallon.
The exact conversion is 5 750ml bottles = 3.750 liters = 0.9906 US Gallon.


- RAD - 01-21-2001 12:20 PM

Drew is absolutely right about the specifics.

But texlizr, in my experience, I've never heard of a bottle of wine referred to as a "fifth". The term "fifth" (again, in my experience) applies to spirits (bourbon, vodka, etc.). A standard size wine bottle is called a "750", for the 750ml it holds, as Drew mentioned.

Other wine bottle names (and sizes:

"Magnum" 1.5 liters (2 regular bottles)
"Double Magnum" 3 liters (4 bottles)
"Jeroboam" 4.5 liters (6 bottles; 4 if champagne)
"Imperial" 6 liters (8 bottles)
"Methusaleh" 6 liters (8 bottles)
"Nebuchadnezzar" 15 liters (20 bottles)

I got these from Wine Spectator's site; it's interesting to note that it lists an Imperial and Methusaleh as both holding the same amount. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.


- mrdutton - 01-21-2001 06:58 PM

Well actually,,,,,,,,

A fifth does refer to spirits and not to wine. And it does not refer to the US Gallon.

A fifth USED to mean 1/5 of an IMPERIAL Gallon based on British Standards, not US. On fifth is very close to being the same as one quart US.

One Gallon US equals 3.785 Liters. One Gallon Imperial equals 4.546 Liters. This makes the Imperial Gallon about 17 percent larger than the US Gallon.

[This message has been edited by mrdutton (edited 01-21-2001).]

- Drew - 01-21-2001 08:13 PM


Spirits sold as "fifths", in the good ole USA, measure 750ml. If those "fifths" were measured Imperial the bottle would hold 909ml, which they do not, which is actually 20% more. [Image: tongue.gif]


- mrdutton - 01-21-2001 08:34 PM

Two things. One the operative word is USED. This goes back to the days when I was a child.

A fifth was 1/5 of an IMPERIAL GALLON. Now do the math. 1/5 of an IMPERIAL GALLON is about 1 quart, US. 1/4 of an Imperial Gallon would be, of course, a bit larger than a Quart, US.

On top of that, there was a marketing ploy by the sellers of spirits that was used to pull the wool over the eyes of the consumers.....

The STANDARD used to be the IMPERIAL Gallon. The standard was then changed to the US Gallon. However the prices were not changed. The US Gallon is smaller than the Imperial gallon, but the price did not go down accordingly.

After the change in stadards, a US Gallon cost as much as an Imperial Gallon used to cost. Ergo, the price of the booze went up, but people - thinking in terms of gallons rather than US or IMPERIAL - did not realized they'd been screwed.

- Drew - 01-21-2001 10:00 PM

Mike, you have to stop looking to the past...Buster Brown still doesn't make your shoe size. [Image: biggrin.gif]

No arguement 'bout being screwed though!!!


- mrdutton - 01-21-2001 10:31 PM

Buster Brown sure does still make my shoe size,,,,,,,, I gots small feet. [Image: biggrin.gif]

- texlizr - 01-22-2001 08:56 AM

Thank you for the info., guys!!!!
It was exactly what I was looking for.

- mrdutton - 01-22-2001 08:55 PM

My shoe size? Oh......... bottle sizes.....

GRIN!! [Image: biggrin.gif]