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Dave Erickson

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Champagne bottle brain-teaser

by Dave Erickson » Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:52 am

Somebody asked me this yesterday and it's killin' me.

Jeroboam, Rehoboam, Methuselah, Salmanazar, Balthazar, Nebuchadnezzar, Melchior: Yeah, we know who these guys are. We know the size they're associated with. But whose bright idea was it to use these names? The search engines don't know. Tom Stevenson doesn't know. Jancis doesn't know. Maybe you know?
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Dale Williams

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Re: Champagne bottle brain-teaser

by Dale Williams » Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:42 am

Doesn't look like you'll get a definitive answer. The answer from Bubble Lounge site seems reasonable:

No one is exactly sure of the reasons why larger format bottles were given biblical names. But, according to the Champagne expert Francois Bonal, winemakers in Bordeaux had been using the name Jeroboam for the four-bottle size since 1725. (It's presumed they selected Jeroboam, the biblical founder of Israel who ruled from 931-920 BC because he is referred to as "a man of great worth," as were the larger sized bottles). Bonal also explains that a Champagne Medieval poet, Eugene Destuche, mentioned several of these names in his poetry. The region of Champagne adopted the Jeroboam size and followed suit with larger format bottles developed in the 1940's, continuing the practice of selecting biblical kings and patriarchs.
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Re: Champagne bottle brain-teaser

by Dave Erickson » Wed Sep 18, 2013 3:48 pm

Dale Williams wrote:Doesn't look like you'll get a definitive answer. The answer from Bubble Lounge site seems reasonable:

No one is exactly sure of the reasons why larger format bottles were given biblical names. But, according to the Champagne expert Francois Bonal, winemakers in Bordeaux had been using the name Jeroboam for the four-bottle size since 1725. (It's presumed they selected Jeroboam, the biblical founder of Israel who ruled from 931-920 BC because he is referred to as "a man of great worth," as were the larger sized bottles). Bonal also explains that a Champagne Medieval poet, Eugene Destuche, mentioned several of these names in his poetry. The region of Champagne adopted the Jeroboam size and followed suit with larger format bottles developed in the 1940's, continuing the practice of selecting biblical kings and patriarchs.


Yeah, this shows up in a few places, and sounds most plausible. I'm guessing some negociant back in the 1940s who'd read Destuche picked up on the usage of "Jeroboam" and ran with it.
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Re: Champagne bottle brain-teaser

by Victorwine » Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:42 pm

“King Size” bottles named after Kings.

Salute
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Jon Peterson

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Re: Champagne bottle brain-teaser

by Jon Peterson » Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:56 pm

Victorwine wrote:“King Size” bottles named after Kings.

Salute


I like that. The simplest is often the "correctist".
I just wanted to inform you that I find you to be very attractive. Thank you and have a nice day.
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Re: Champagne bottle brain-teaser

by Dale Williams » Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:45 pm

Except Methuselah wasn't a king (and neither were Balthazar and Melchior in Bible, the "three kings" as opposed to magi came later)
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Re: Champagne bottle brain-teaser

by Jon Peterson » Fri Sep 20, 2013 7:10 pm

Like I said, Dale, the most complicated answer is usually the right answer. :)
I just wanted to inform you that I find you to be very attractive. Thank you and have a nice day.
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Re: Champagne bottle brain-teaser

by Victorwine » Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:41 pm

If you “live as long” as Methuselah you deserve to be “King”.

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