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Collecting Q&A: Opening 6-Liter Bottles

Peter D. Meltzer
Posted: February 20, 2007

Q: It's time to pop the corks on some 6-liter bottles I have been aging. How do you open such large bottles? And after the cork is removed, how should I pour the wine? I don't think I would carry the 6-liter bottle around to my guests.

A: The corks in most 6-liter bottles are not much longer than those used in standard 750ml bottles, but the lips of an imperial are wider. Not all corkscrews will fit snugly around the capsule, but a standard, double-action waiter's corkscrew should do the trick. Unless you have been working out with weights for some time, pouring can be problematic. I have seen slings designed to cradle the bottle to prevent a backsplash. Other collectors I know use a siphon to transfer the wine either into decanters or straight into glasses.

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