Squeezing a Salmanazar or Nebuchadnezzar into the average recycling bin could be as tall an order as the bottles themselves.
Salmanazar and Nebuchadnezzar aren’t characters from the Arabian Nights but bottle sizes, equalling 12 and 20 bottles respectively. In fact there are 30 different large bottle wines including Jeroboam (two bottles), Methuselah (eight) and Balthazar (16). All of which require pretty big ice buckets and bodybuilding wine waiters to pour them out!
The Restaurant Manager at the Island’s Michelin starred Bohemia Restaurant, Dimitri Marqueteau, must like a challenge as he’s spent the hot summer months sourcing large bottles throughout Europe, from UK auctions and direct from wine houses in France. The result is the Grand Formats wine list, the largest of it kind in Jersey, comprising more than 30 large bottle wines including Magnums (two bottles) to Impériales (eight bottles) and Salmanazzars and Nebuchadnezzars of Champagne.
Mr Marqueteau said: “Building our Grand Formats list has been one of the hardest challenges I have faced as they are only ever produced in small numbers and the best ones get snapped up quickly by collectors and a few top London and Paris restaurants.
“Therefore, we have had to work hard to secure our list and we aim to keep growing it going forward so our customers can enjoy new and interesting Grand Format wines.
“Drinking large format bottle wines is one of the best ways to enjoy a wine's potential, because the oxygen-to-wine ratio is lower in a larger bottle - wines typically age more slowly and have better maturation.”
According to that authoritative tome, the Guinness Book of Records, the largest bottle of wine measured 12 ft 2 in tall, had a diameter of 3 ft 3 in and was filled with a whopping 444.29 gallons of Swiss Pinot Noir.
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