Why Are Extremely Large Wine Bottles Named after Biblical Kings?

The convoluted story of jeroboams, rehoboams, methuselahs, and more.

Bottles of Taittinger champagne. Madison Wine Exchange.

Bottles of Taittinger champagne. Madison Wine Exchange.

Observation
July 19 2017
About the author

Philologos, the renowned Jewish-language columnist, appears twice a month in Mosaic. Questions for him may be sent to his email address by clicking here.


Ours is not a Bible-reading age. Ask the average American what the names Jeroboam, Rehoboam, Nebuchadnezzar, and Shalmaneser have in common and he is more likely to guess that all belong to rock bands than that they belong to biblical kings. And even though ours is a wine-drinking age, how many of those who know the right answer would know that there is a second answer, too: namely, that these same names also denote different sizes of wine bottles?

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

More about: Arts & Culture, History & Ideas, Wine