Wine & spirits: Sizing up the situation
Wine comes in a range of different-size bottles that are perfect for various occasions. Choose the size that's right for you with the help of our handy guide.
Standard bottle (750 mL)
Generally accepted format for most wines. The size was developed in the days when glass bottles were blown by mouth. The volume of the bottle matches the lung capacity of the average glass blower, so a bottle could be made in a single breath. Also called a "fifth" in the United States, as it's roughly equivalent to one-fifth of an American gallon.
Miniature, or mini (20 to 50 mL)
A generous "shot", it's used primarily for spirits in hotel minibars. Several Canadian wineries now bottle their icewine in this handy one-glass size.
Quarter-bottle, or nip (187 mL)
One-quarter of the size of the standard bottle. Often seen as the single-serving wine portion on airlines and in hotel minibars.
Piccolo (200 mL)
A fifth of a litre, popularized by sparkling and icewine producers. Bottles occasionally come with a straw attached.
Mignonette (250 mL)
A quarter of a litre, a third of a bottle, one imperial cup.
Half-bottle, or split (375 mL)
One-half of the size of a standard bottle.
Half-litre (500 mL)
Increasingly recommended as an alternative to the half bottle by quality producers who say it's the perfect size for four people to have a taste. Also called a "50" in Europe, where the measure is often calculated in centilitres rather than millilitres.