Champagne, Supernova-Sized

Champagne! - Jean Scheijen

A friend said to me, "Anyway, I'm going to their annual Christmas party, which should be good. Apparently he buys a Methuselah every year!" "Um, how many bottles is that again?" I asked. "Yeah, I can't really remember," she said. And so we decided a refresher course was in order.

As you all know, a bottle of champagne is 750ml, also known as 75cl, or, perhaps most importantly, approximately nine units of alcohol.

And a magnum is two bottles of Champagne in one. (We know this all too well as Waitrose brands and sells a very reasonably priced Magnum for £33 - how great is life?)

After that, we need a chart. So here it is:

  • Piccolo - 1/4
  • Demi - 1/2
  • Magnum - 2
  • Jeroboam - 4
  • Rehoboam - 6
  • Methuselah - 8
  • Salmanazar - 12
  • Balthazar - 16
  • Nebuchadnezzar - 20
  • Melchior - 24
  • Solomon - 28
  • Melchizedek - 40
If you're going to be drinking these exotic sizes, you need to know the origin of the names:
  • Magnum (Magnum P.I.?)
  • Jeroboam (The first king of Israel)
  • Rehoboam (Solomon's son, and the first king of Judah)
  • Methuselah (the oldest man in the Bible, who lived to 969)
  • Salmanazar (one of five kings of Assyria)
  • Balthazar (one of the three wise men)
  • Nebuchadnezzar (one of four kings of Babylon)
  • Melchior (another of the three wise men)
  • Solomon (son of David, and one of the kings of Israel)
  • Melchizedek (slightly random OT guy)
And how much do they cost?

You can find a Jeroboam for £110 at Berry Bros. & Rudd, a Salmanazar from for £410, or a Balthazar for £675 from

Alas, a brief Google search did not yield a Melchizedek for sale anywhere.