Size Matters

Life is too short to be small
Size is what really counts!
Ladies like em big!

If the above come-ons sound like email spam for penis enlargements, actually, that’s what they are. I find them handy because, ironically, these statements could also be used to lobby for the inflation of wine bottles.

Have you ever been three at a restaurant and you buy a 750 ml bottle to share over dinner. As the meal progresses and the wine level drops, you realize that there is not enough in that bottle to wash down your last chuck of pork tenderloin and are forced to contemplate ordering wine by the glass to attain satisfaction. What a pain. You think, if only there was another glass or two in that bottle, this dinner would be perfect.

Other times, you and your partner are dining at home and prefer not to try finishing a regular bottle, so you opt for a 375 ml half bottle. Again, it’s just not enough for real satisfaction. 375 ml is too little and 750 is too much. Good gracious, Goldilocks, which size is just right?

It’s strange that in the 1970’s rush to go metric wine bottles got stuck with rough sizes like 187 ml, 375 ml, 750 ml and 1.5 ml. Why couldn’t the standardization geniuses use round numbers for smaller bottles, like 250 ml, 500 ml, and 1 liter? Once you get past the 1.5 ml magnum, the bottles are all evenly divisible, but who ever buys a 3 liter Jerboam or a 6 liter Imperial?

Back in pre-metric day wine was packaged in all kinds of different-sized bottles. The Americans opted for standardizing the 750 ml measurement because it was so close in volume to a “Fifth,” which is liquor drinker’s parlance of one-fifth of a gallon. The Europeans went along with the 750 ml size in order to streamline exports to the U.S.

What a pity they didn’t opt for 500 ml and 1 liter bottles. I wish more producers would because as the spam mail says, Sized Matters!

Here’s an Italian wine I come to know and love, even though it only comes in a 750ml bottle.

Frescobaldi 2004 Campo Al Sassi Rosso Di Montalcino
$24 ish at Kitsilano
Made from the Sangiovese Grosso grape, this Tuscan beauty is deep garnet – almost opaque – and has long, slender legs. Flavors of earthy red and black fruits, violets, herbs and mushrooms jump from the glass. The oak is nicely balanced with blackberries, sage, and rosemary, and it has a rich, warm mouthfeel and some delectable acidity that carries through to the finish of pretty red fruit and fine smooth tannins. A delightful pizza or pasta wine.

Mari Kane

Mari is a writer, blogger and WordPress consultant, living in Vancouver, BC, the most wine-soaked town north of the 49th Parallel. She also blogs about WordPress web design at Blogsite Follow her on Twitter or Google Plus.