Making a Large Statement
LARGE BOTTLE FORMATS AGE BETTER
Wine ages as air moves in and out of the cork, interacting with the flavor components of a wine. With large format bottles, you’ve got the same surface area for air transfer — that tiny cork — but a much larger volume of wine. The result is that these bottles age at half the speed of their 750 ml counterparts.
Large-format wines are not usually produced in large quantities, making them quite rare – in fact, as the size of the bottle increases, its market availability decreases. Due to this rarity, and with it, a sense of exclusivity and prestige, these wines are among the most collectible in the world.
The main reason larger bottles are priced higher is because they age more slowly than those in standard bottles. Meaning, since there is a greater amount of wine in a Magnum bottle than a regular one, yet the amount of air trapped in the neck of the bottle is basically equal in both, less surface area of the wine in large-format bottles comes into contact with the air. This causes the wine to develop at a slower rate over a longer period of time. The final reason has less to do with the wine itself, and more to do with the human ego. No matter the venue, a large format bottle, especially one of fine wine, will turn heads and grab people’s attention.
Besides ageing more gracefully, they are just plain better, according to some experts, because they age at a slower pace. As a result, producers typically bottle a portion of their best blends into large bottles to see their evolution, and mark them up accordingly for collectors.
THEY ARE MORE DURABLE (the actual bottle is better made)
That is because larger bottles are made with thicker, heavier glass to protect them from wine’s major enemies: heat, light, and travel-related vibrations.
No matter the occasion, big bottles are just plain impressive. From the start, a big bottle screams celebration and sets a dramatic tone for everything. Plus, using a magnum as a centerpiece removes the need to build a time-consuming approved tablescape. Also, watching your friends pick up a heavy bottle and try to pour from it never gets old.
Next time you are on a wine shopping spree, do not power past the large format display and dive into the clearance section. Big bottles need love, also.
1.5 L – Magnum: equal to two standard-sized bottles.
3 L – Double Magnum: equal to two Magnum bottles. If the bottle is *Burgundy-shaped, it is referred to as a ‘Jeroboam.’
4.5 L – Jeroboam: equivalent to six standard-sized bottles. While it may seem confusing, since it holds the same name as a Burgundy-shaped Double Magnum, the Burgundy-shaped 4.5 L is referred to Rehoboam.
6 L – Imperial Magnum, or Methuselah for Champagne: holds 6000 ml, which is equivalent to eight standard-sized bottles.
9 L – Salmanazar: holds 9000 ml, which is equivalent to twelve standard bottles.
12 L – Balthazar: holds 12,000 ml, which is equivalent to sixteen standard bottles.
15 L – Nebuchadnezzar: holds 15,000 ml, which is equivalent to twenty standard bottles.
OPENING A LARGE FORMAT BOTTLE
Opening a large format bottle may be a daunting task – especially for 3 Liter bottles or larger. The corks tend to be much wider in diameter but are typically the same length as a standard cork. Once the bottle is carefully opened, it is recommended to pour the wine into decanters and then into glasses. It is much easier than trying to pour straight into glasses, especially from the full bottle. Cradle the wine while pouring with one hand around the base for the best control.
For the really big bottles there are specialized cradles that can hold the bottle and assist with pouring.
Here are a couple of our Large Bottle Offerings for your reviewing pleasure:
2018 Podere Poggio Scalette Il Carbonaione (12 Litre Bottle) call 416-598-0033 ext :244
2018 Podere Poggio Scalette Il Carbonaione (6 Litre Bottle) call 416-598-0033 ext :244