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Case of Wine: Everything You Should Know

September 15, 2020
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Joshua Weatherwax
Table of Contents
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A bushel of wine, a peck of wine, a case of wine?

There are so many different options for purchasing wine that it can quickly become overwhelming to determine what you should order. You don't want to order too much or too little for the bar.

There is the expectation that a good bar owner understands the quantities involved when purchasing supplies. Unfortunately, wholesalers may not adequately explain the differences between products and quantities.

We'll walk you through the most important facts about cases of wine and get you back to ordering.

How Many Bottles in a Case Of Wine?

There are 12 750 ml bottles of wine in a standard case of wine. This adds up to a total of 9 liters of wine per case. That's equivalent to 60 servings of wine, assuming you adhere to the standard wine pour of 5 ounces. That pour can also keep the work streamlined and maintain the bar profit margin.

750 ml is one of the most common liquor bottle sizes and is likely what you will order from a wholesaler. However, there are different wine bottle sizes that are used depending on the wine and vineyard involved. It may be a good idea to check with the seller before you purchase.

How Much Is a Case Of Wine? Case of Wine Cost

A case of wine costs anywhere from $100 to $500 depending on the quality of wine you're purchasing. Good quality wines are usually between $15 and $25 per bottle wholesale. Expect a case to be between $150 and $250. This is the average spend, but you should know your business and customers and adjust as needed.

Cheaper value wines can come in at around $10 per bottle. This is a great choice for large parties, for bars that offer low-cost drinks for happy hour, or to go on a well drinks list. The higher quality bottles of wine come in at $50+, so buying in bulk is costly but will save money in the long run. Check with your wholesaler to see if they'll let you mix-and-match wine in a case to see what works best for you.

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How Much Does a Case of Wine Weigh?

The average case of wine weighs between 30 and 40 lbs or 14.25 to 19 kg. Since there are 12 bottles of wine in a case, we can estimate the total weight based off of a single bottle's weight. The standard 750 ml bottle of wine weighs an average of 2.65 pounds (1.2 kg). This will vary depending on the size and thickness of the bottle.

You should also consider the extra weight added by the packaging itself. Some wholesalers offer free shipping if you order a certain amount. Still, if you order in smaller quantities you'll find that the shipping cost varies based on weight. Err on the side of caution and assume the case weighs a bit more than the sum of the bottles. This will ensure you don't mistakenly order more than you can afford.

How Many Cases of Wine in a Barrel?

There are about 25 cases of wine in one barrel. The standard wine barrel is 60 gallons and can fill 300 standard 750 ml bottles. That's equivalent to a total of 1,500 glasses of wine. 

Bottle sizes may be different for different varietals. If a winery uses another bottle size, this will change the cases produced. A pinot noir is unlikely to be in a large bottle while a champagne might be. Plan for these numbers to change based on the wine you're looking for.

Larger bottles are often used for small-batch vintages and for the highest-end wines. Magnum bottles are 1.5 liters, so a barrel would only produce 12-and-a-half cases of wine. Jeroboam and Rehoboam bottles are so large that a barrel would only produce 5 to 6 cases.

How Many Gallons in a Case of Wine?

There are 2.378 gallons of wine in a case. All wines are generally measured in metric units, not imperial. You should expect to see, and learn to understand, volume in liters. It is highly unlikely to see wine listed in gallons anywhere. However, if the gallon measurement is important to you, you'll have to calculate that yourself.

Converting these units can be confusing, but we'll run you through the math. Since there are 12 750 ml bottles in a case, we know that it is a total of 9 liters. To convert liters to gallons, you divide the volume in liters by 3.785. This leaves you with 2.378 gallons of wine in a case.

How Many Cases of Wine in a Pallet?

There is an average of 56 cases of wine in a pallet. That's a whopping 672 average 750ml bottles in a single pallet. It's also more than two full barrels of wine. You could even fill 3,375 wine glasses with that amount of wine.

If you order that much wine in one go, it's important that you have a large enough wine cellar to store it all. Make sure you maintain the correct wine storage temperature and utilize the proper wine cellar lighting. You don't want to have 600+ bottles of wine go bad on you and eat up your bottom line.

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Case Closed

There are a lot of complex, moving parts to running a bar, but ordering wine shouldn't have to be difficult. Knowing the difference between a case, pallet, and barrel of wine will ensure you make the right purchasing decisions. You don't want to end up with more wine than you can sell, but you want to ensure your customers' needs are met.

Any bartender or owner worth their salt should put in the effort to learn as much about the business as possible. Mastering wine quantities, keg sizes, how to free pour, and other skills will keep you ahead of the competition. Keeping a bar running is hard work, but pays dividends when done correctly.