We all like to impress and surprise, and like having a self-tie bowtie when everyone else has a clip-on, magnums are the ultimate in one-upmanship! Weighing-in at exactly twice the size of a normal bottle, magnums not only look great but are more efficient for parties and actually keep and age the wine better.

The history of a wine bottle

The standard sized 750ml bottle that we are used to seeing today actually dates back around 300 years. Originally measured at one-fifth of a gallon, it was said to be the perfect ration for one man to consume with his meal.

The 750ml is also thought to have been the largest size bottle a glass-blower could produce with one breath.

Glass half full?

Breaking a 750ml down into single glasses, depending on the strength (and vigour) of your pouring arm (and size of stemware), a standard bottle will usually provide around 4 to 6 glasses. Not much good when it’s a seriously yummy wine, and you have more than just a couple of friends sharing it, which is why common sense dictates that in gatherings (of more than just yourself) you should open a magnum.

Not just a pretty bottle

Magnums don’t just look great. Wine ages better and slower in a magnum, and tastes consistently better than when matured in normal size bottles. Younger wines also stay fresher for longer in the magnum format.

The amount of wine exposed to oxygen in proportion decreases exponentially as the bottle size increases. This means that larger bottles (like magnums) have less exposure to the effects of oxygen, which are beneficial but eventually turn wine into vinegar. Not surprisingly, the aging process of wine in a magnum takes around 1.5 times longer than in a 750ml bottle – yet another reason to seek out a magnum over a traditional 750ml.

We always have a wide selection of magnums around the Christmas/Summer season, but they usually sell out super-fast. For March, as a special focus, we’ve sourced some great examples from our leading farms crossing a variety of vintages, styles and price points.

Why not order some of each, and see what all the fuss is about?

In limited quantities;

Radford Dale Gravity 2008

Radford Dale Shiraz 2009

Gabrielskloof Five Arches 2010

Remhoogte Estate Blend 2013

You can order online now, or why not chat to one of our Private Wine Merchants™ to ensure the perfect selection for your palate!