The Methuselah is one of the 16 different sizes of wine bottles that can be found in Champagne.
What is the capacity of a Methuselah of champagne?
The capacity of a Methuselah of champagne is 6 litres, the equivalent of 8 bottles of 75cl or 48 glasses of champagne.
Only champagne in bottles, Magnums and Jeroboams have been aged in their original bottle. The bottles of champagne with a capacity of more than 3 litres were first aged in the bottle and then decanted into the final bottle after development.
What does the name Methuselah mean?
The name Methuselah is of biblical origin. Methuselah refers to the grandfather of Noah. He is said to have lived to be 969 years old and is said to have planted the first vines.
Does the size of the bottle influence the quality of the wine?
The size of the bottle does indeed have an influence on the quality of the wine. The exchange of air between the cork and the wine is less in a large bottle than in a small one, which limits its oxidisation. In addition, because of their large capacity, large bottles exude the complexity and aromatic palette of the wine.
What is the best way to open a Methuselah of champagne?
To open a Methuselah of champagne properly, since it is held in place by a wire cage, the bottle should be turned around the cork and not the other way around in order to preserve the bubbles and taste that make a good champagne so delightful, then gently remove the cork and serve in a glass tilted at 45°. If the cork is removed too quickly, a sparkling stream will be produced. This phenomenon of "stacking" is due to an excessive concentration of bubbles. You can also break the Methuselah of champagne by breaking its neck with a knife or other sharp object. The shockwave, combined with the pressure of the wine in the bottle, ejects the cork and the wire.
At what temperature should a Methuselah of champagne be served?
The Methuselah of champagne can ideally be served at a temperature of 8-10°C. Because of its large capacity, this large format needs to be chilled for longer than a classic bottle, and will be less subject to rapid temperature variations.