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Wine Facts [Part 8] – A Butt Of Wine

Wine Facts [Part 8] – A Butt Of Wine


A “butt” was a medieval unit of measure used for wine and other alcoholic beverages. It is also a large cask (also called a pipe) that contains about 475 litres (126 gallons) of wine. That means if you fill the barrel up, you technically have a buttload of wine! The inner child in me will never stop laughing at this ; )

On a more serious note, a butt is generally defined to be four regular barrels, or two hogsheads.



A hogshead is a large cask, and a measure of capacity for wine equal to 238 litres (63 gallons).

Other cask sizes are:

Tun: 954 litres / 252 gallons
Pipe or butt: 477 litres / 126 gallons
Puncheon or tertian: 318 litres / 84 gallons
Hogshead: 238 litres / 63 gallons
Tierce: 159 litres / 42 gallons
Barrel: 120 litres / 31 gallons
Rundlet: 68 litres / 18 gallons

Note: Sizes may vary slightly according to the type of liquid.

SEE ALSO: Wine Facts And Figures



For many years, the U.S. standard (non-metric) wine and liquor bottle was the “fifth”, meaning one-fifth of a U.S. gallon, or 25.6 U.S. fluidounces (757 ml; 26.6 imp fl oz).

SEE ALSO: Wine Bottle Shapes And Sizes



It is speculated that the bubbles in sparkling wine may speed up alcohol intoxication by helping the alcohol to reach the bloodstream faster. How about that?! A study conducted at the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom gave subjects equal amounts of flat and sparkling Champagne which contained the same levels of alcohol. After 5 minutes following consumption, the group that had the sparkling wine had 54 milligrams of alcohol in their blood while the group that had the same sparkling wine, only flat, had 39 milligrams. To conclude, I will share a quote from Madame de Pompadour: “Champagne is the only drink that leaves a woman still beautiful after drinking it.” For more wine quotes, please visit our Wine Quotes page.

SEE ALSO: Wine Facts Part 5 – BUBBLES!!! and The Health Benefits Of Champagne.


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We never have enough wine facts! In fact, you should pour yourself another glass of wine and enjoy the past 7 (Wine Facts part 1part 2part 3part 4,  part 5, part 6 and part 7). Impress your friends and colleagues and be “wine smart”!




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