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Champagne splits are bottles that contain either a half or a quarter of the volume of a standard bottle of champagne. They are usually labeled and marked exactly as their full-sized versions would be. The only difference is that they appear in miniature form. Splits are popular among people who want to enjoy a glass or two of champagne without having to open an entire bottle, and can also be given away as festive favors at celebratory events like weddings, anniversary parties, and New Year’s Eve toasts.
As the name suggests, champagne splits are essentially portions of a standard, about 25 ounce (750 mL), bottle that has been divided, or “split.” The most common split contains one quarter of a standard bottle. This usually works out to be about a glass’ worth, and generally carries a volume of about 6.3 ounces (187 mL). Splits can also come with the half-size volume of 13 ounces (375 mL).
In almost all respects, champagne splits are identical to full-sized portions in contents and labeling. Even the cork is a miniaturized version of the traditional pressurized, cage-held stopper. Opening champagne splits usually leads to the same popping sound so characteristic of all sparkling wine.
Champagne mini-bottles are often marketed as single servings. They are not usually priced strictly by their volume — that is to say, a quarter-bottle split is not usually a clean quarter of a standard bottle’s price — but splits are almost always significantly less expensive than purchasing an entire bottle. Splits usually impart more of the champagne-drinking experience than simply ordering a glass from a restaurant or bar, and add a bit of fun to the table, as well.
Not all champagne vintners produce splits. It is usually somewhat costly to run limited-volume productions, particularly in facilities optimized for standard-sized bottles. Most of the time, champagne splits are only available for the most popular varieties.
Miniature champagne bottles are popular gifts, particularly as party favors. In many cases, hosts can arrange for personalized labels commemorating an event, announcing a birth, or featuring the names of a newly-married couple. Champagne distributors are often willing to cut a deal on custom orders or multi-case shipments, though these usually need to be arranged well in advance of the event date.
Although less conventional, champagne splits can sometimes also be served in cans. Cans are almost always designed to be single-serving only, and often come with a straw attached. This style of split is often regarded as a branding move unique to only a handful of manufacturers, most of which are outside of France. As such, the majority of these products would be more properly called "sparkling wine splits," since the term "champagne" is is a geographic indicator unique to the Champagne region of France. The cans are usually decorative and are designed to be classy, edgy, and a bit unusual.