Splitsville – Splits and Half Bottles

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wine bottle sizes, half bottle wine, wine, split

So many celebs are doing it. Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton, Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon, Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner. Splitting up is in the air. We could go on…but this isn’t a gossip column. And, frankly, we’re much better at drinking than dishing. So the famous splits we’d like to talk about are the ones you’ll find in the form of a bottle.

Splits, of course, are the tiny bottles of wine, used mostly by airlines or sold by retailers as gift items at the check-out counter. A split is actually a quarter-bottle containing 187 ml of liquid, which is about one glass of wine or bubbly. We particularly love the splits of sparkling wines because we can still experience the pop of the cork when opening the bottle. Most of the splits of still wines are closed with screwtops. While there are some good quality non-vintage Champagnes put into this size bottle, most of the still wines are of moderate quality.

Top Wineries Choosing Half Bottles

Not so with half bottles. Some of the world’s best wines and bubblies (Opus One, Chateau Pichon Lalande Bordeaux, Veuve Clicquot, Taitttinger to name a few) are bottled into half bottles, and the numbers are increasing. More wineries are jumping on the half-bottle bandwagon and listening to consumer demands. Popular half bottle wines include Kendall-Jackson, Korbel, Louis Latour, Dry Creek, Francis Coppola, and Penfolds.

Half bottles first appeared in the US in the early 1900’s – from, of course, France. But they’ve never been such a hit as they are now. Half bottles, which hold exactly 375 ml, or one-half of the standard 750 ml bottle, are great for people who want to have more variety and less leftover wine or for the single drinker.

They’ve become a regular item on restaurant menus too. While they may not be the best value (half bottles cost proportionately more than a full bottle), they can make your wine experience more adventurous. We love new wine adventures.


Barbara and Beverly