Welcome to the World of Winemaking! I’m having fun alphabetizing the home winemaking process – here are the links going backwards for your convenience, in case you missed any:
A for Aromas, Acidity and Appearance
B for Barrels, Bottles and Blackberry Wine
C for Color, Clarity, Carboys and Cherry Wine
D for Decanting and Decanters
E for Equipment
F for Fermentation
G for Glass and Grape
H for Harvest
I for Infusion
Today’s letter is “J”, so we’ll talk about Jeroboam and Jug! I know, I know – there simply aren’t enough “J” words in winemaking!
A Jeroboam is a large bottle holding 3-5 litres, the equivalent of 4-6 regular wine bottles. That’s a big bottle! Here’s a Jeroboam of Champagne:
And a Jeroboam Chianti:
But you really don’t get the full effect until you see it next to another bottle. I found this cool graphic to give you an idea on what size that actually is – in the grand scheme of things, while it’s a big bottle, it certainly isn’t the biggest:
The Jeroboam wine bottle is also known as a Double-Magnum bottle holding the same amount of Wine.
The Jeroboam bottle varies with different regions in France. i.e Jeroboam 3 Liters in Champagne (4 Standard Bottles), and Jeroboam 4.5 Liters in Bordeaux (6 Standard Bottles).
When I was reading up on the Jeroboam wine bottles, I stumbled across an advertisement from 2013 where the supreme winemaker, Louis Roederer, teamed up with product designer Di Méo to create a limited edition Jeroboam design for the cuvee Cristal 2002.
The clear glass bottle is encased in a beautiful lattice of 24-carat gold. Each ‘medallion’ bottle is 100% hand-crafted and takes four days to create by two master goldsmiths.
The Jeroboam 2002 by Cristal came with a price tag of $26,000 and was limited to just 400 units.
I also found a video introducing it in 2013:
I’m pretty sure my jaw is still on the ground over that one. It’s beautiful, sure, and obviously waaaaaaaaay out of my price range. Of course I would never turn down a gift of something like that, would you?
Then we have the Jug – jug wine is prominently known as an American term for inexpensive table wine.
Back in the day, before the bag-in-box wine package, “sensibly priced wines” were most often found in 3 and 5 liter screw topped glass jugs. Jug wine was the staple of post-prohibition California wineries and the San Joaquin Valley became known as the “jug wine capital of the world”.
Today, except for a handful of brands, the classic “finger-hook” wine jug has been replaced by the wine box and the tetra pak. Gallo’s Carlo Rossi brand continues to be sold in bulbous glass jugs.
I might have to get a vintage jug just for fun, like this one from 1935:
For us home winemakers, gallon glass jugs are perfect for making extra wine for ‘topping off’ when you rack wine off the sediment. I also use them when I’m experimenting with infusion, as testing in one gallon – in case it fails – is better than ruining an entire 6-gallon batch of wine.
Winemaking is so much fun – at least for me – and am tickled every time I give the wine I make as gifts to friends and family who love drinking it as much as I love making it. While we go through this alphabetical series on winemaking, if you have any burning questions, be sure to ask them in the comments below, and I’ll reply there – and maybe even highlight your specific question(s) in a future post!
Thanks for joining me in this fun adventure!