Bee d’Vine magnum bottle is a double-magnum, or a Jeroboam, holding 3 liters of wine which is the equivalent of 4 standard size bottles. It can serve about 20 glasses. Here are the BRUT and DEMI SEC non-sparkling.
Magnums are perfect for large gatherings and special occasions. The Wine Spectator has its famous annual bring your own magnum party, and now that Covid is getting under relative control, what better way to kick off than with a magnum?
When you order our double-magnum, we subsidize the shipping cost as we charge you the same price to ship these extra-large bottles as we would a standard size bottle.
It is thought that large size, or magnum bottles, emerged out of the Champagne region in the 18th Century.
Yet, Bee d’Vine is the first and only large format honey wine in the world we know of. This makes it truly unique!
Now, you may have only seen large bottles in dark green or brown and used for red wine or champagne. That is not an accident since 95% or more of magnum bottles are dark glass, but ours is not – as is clear to see!
Look above at how the majestic Bee d’Vine double-magnum stands head and shoulders above the rest of our bottles. We’re particularly proud that it’s the same bowling-pin shape as our 750ml bottles (our first two vintages had a different shape for the double-magnum)
So, considering that less than 5% of large format bottles are clear (or ‘flint’ in the industry jargon) this make our double-magnum BRUT or DEMI SEC an even more one-of-a-kind bottle of wine!
Indeed, no one ever discards such a bottle, it will serve part of your furniture and a conversation piece. As much as we’d like the advertising, we recommend removing our label if it’s going to be used as vase for dry plants such as pampas or lavender (Pintrest has some great ideas for this).
What makes magnums expensive?
We once received this question: “If your double-magnum holds 4 times more than your standard 750ml bottle, why does it not cost just 4 times more?”
Obviously, the bottle costs more to start with and has to be special ordered. We special import ours from Italy.
Standard size corks, labels, shipping boxes, and capsules cannot be used, so extra-large ones have to be ordered. These cost more because they are specialty items and also because we purchase a smaller number, so no volume discounts are available. In some cases, materials have to be custom made.
In the case of Bee d’Vine our label has a unique shape that requires a die-cut. Since the standard label would be too small for the large bottle, and we don’t use a square label, we have to make a new die.
Additionally, since our magnum bottle is unusually tall, we had to make a custom shipping box and custom contoured safety sponge padding to the exact shape of the bottle. This actually costs as much if not more than the bottle!
Magnums cannot be machine bottled on a bottling line, so the work is done by hand and therefore one has to consider the labor costs.
First, a tube with compressed gas heavier gas than oxygen has to be inserted to purge the oxygen so the wine does not oxidize. Then it’s hand-filled with wine while respecting the unique ullage (the empty space above the fill-line at the top of a bottle).
The ullage is deeper/larger than a standard bottle to account for the higher volume to neck opening ratio found in magnum bottles. If filled too high, the cork could easily be pushed up or out with a small increase in temperature which will expand the volume of wine.
This high volume to neck ratio is also why magnums age slower than standard bottles and are prized by wine connoisseurs.
After filling, a special, extra-large hand operated corker is used to insert the cork.
Now all this manual work creates a mess that standard bottling does not, so each bottle has to be rinsed or briefly soaked in a warm water. After washing and drying, labels are hand applied instead of machine applied as with standard bottles
Finally, we hand dip each Bee d’Vine bottle one at a time in wax to cover the cork and neck (perfectly fitting extra-large capsules are difficult to find if not impossible) before packaging in the custom boxes and bottling conditioning for at least 6 months.
Largest Wine Bottle in the World
While the Honey Wine Company has the only magnum honey wine in the world, the Swiss restaurant, the Gasthaus zum Gupf, located near Zurich, has the largest bottle of wine in the world. It is the brain child of the owner, Emil ‘Migg’ Eberle. It’s produced in Germany and is filled with a 2005 Austrian Burgenland sweet white.
The bottle is 7ft 11” high, with a diameter of 25 inches, and holds an astounding 126 gallons of wine while the cork is 7.2 inches.
Magnum is King
No one really knows where the unique naming of magnums, mostly following Biblical kings, comes from. The website, Ideal Wine, has an excellent article about names so we’ve copied the information below from Ideal Wine.
Magnum: contains 1.5 liters or 2 bottles of 750 ml.
It comes from the Latin word which means “large”. It has been used since the 18th century.
Jeroboam: contains 3 liters or 4 bottles of 750 ml. In Bordeaux, it’s called a double-magnum. Somewhat rarer are 5-litre Jeroboams which can be found in Bordeaux. According to biblical history, Jeroboam I (931 – 909 BC) was the first king of northern Israel.
Réhoboam: contains 4.5 liters or 6 bottles of 750 ml.
Son of king Salomon, his tyrannical government attracted the wrath of 10 out of 12 tribes in Israel.
Methuselah: contains 6 liters or 8 bottles of 750 ml. In Bordeaux, it is sometimes called an Imperial. The name of the patriarch – the oldest person mentioned in the Old Testament – has become a synonym for longevity. According to Genesis, Methuselah (Enoch’s son) lived for 969 years and died during the Flood.
Salmanazar: contains 9 liters or 12 bottles of 750 ml.
Five Assyrian kings were called Salmanazar.
Balthazar: contains 12 liters of 16 bottles of 750 ml.
Balthazar was one of the three kings who came to celebrate Jesus at his birth. In traditional iconography, he represents Africa.
Nabuchodonosor: contains 15 liters or 20 bottles of 750 ml.
He was the most important of the Kings of Babylon and governed between 605 and 565 BC. After having defeated the Egyptians, he conquered Jerusalem several times and held the Hebrews captive in Babylon, which he transformed into a magnificent city. In addition to these traditional bottles, some négociants use even larger containers.
Salomon: contains 18 liters or 24 bottles of 750 ml.
Souverain: contains 26.25 liters or 35 bottles of 750 ml.
Primat: contains 27 liters or 35 bottles of 750 ml.
This name comes from the Latin and means of highest importance. Historically, this name was given to archbishops who were superior to the other bishops and archbishops in the region.
It was used for the first time in 1999.
Melchizédec: contains 30 liters, or 40 normal-sized bottles, used since 2002.
Magnums: Attention and Marketing
Sometimes the bottle, not the wine becomes the object of conversation and attention. Apparently, size does matter!
Look at this video of party in Addis Ababa where the Bee d’Vine magnum was kidnapped for a dangerous dancing adventure. And a bar in Brooklyn preparing to serve the entire restaurant with a single bottle of Bee d’Vine.
Magnums also serve another role in the beverage industry: Have you ever noticed a magnum bottle at your favorite bar?
Yes, magnums are a form of advertising with the hope that patrons will see this large bottle and order a glass or a standard bottle. Often, these large bottles are for display-only and don’t contain the real wine (Bee d’Vine display double-magnums are, or were initially real wine then replaced with colored water).
Picture the mischievous magnum thief who gets away with his or her favorite vintage, only to discover – in front of eager and admiring friends – local tap-water!
Now that you know more than you ever wanted to about magnums, there’s only one thing to do. Order one! Bee d’Vine preferably, or add it to your bucket list – for your next party or as a gift for a special birthday, bar mitzvah or baby shower!