Nothing says generosity, knowledge and “I am the king of decadent summers” like turning up to the summer soiree fashionably late and gifting your host with a magnum bottle of Pol Roger or a chilled Whispering Angel. While many good things may come in small packages, even better ones arrive in double the size.
We’re not saying this to be pompous, you understand. There’s genuine science behind these claims. Magnums of wine age better and one-and-a-half times slower than their 75cl counterparts. This is thanks to the smaller proportion of oxygen in the ‘ullage’ – the little bubble of air at the top – and the cork.
But where bigger bottles really make a difference is with the bubbles. The greater volume in a magnum means it holds more CO2 and the relatively smaller cork means fewer bubbles escape. So a magnum of fizz is fizzier.
But let’s keep things simple, shall we? Bigger bottles look the business, make a great gift and centrepiece and – perhaps most importantly of all – make for even greater sharing. Now that’s something we can raise a glass to (or the whole magnum if you’ve got both hands free).
So as we look ahead to a long and decadent summer, we asked The Magnum Company to recommend the very best 150cl bottles to get your party started…
For a celebratory champagne, you need look no further than Pommery’s classic Brut Royal. Light, refreshing and delicately balanced, it’s an ideal aperitif. For something tangy, complex and favoured by Churchill himself, you’ll find a truly unforgettable bottle in Pol Roger Brut Réserve.
And for further evidence that English sparkling wine can hold its own against the French, Nyetimer’s Classic Cuvée – with its complex aromas and spicy notes – is an exceptional example.
Pommery Brut Royal NV
Pol Roger Brut Réserve
Nyetimber Classic Cuvée
For 150cl of excellent, old-school Bordeaux, a magnum of 2012 Château Lamothe-Cissac will pair wonderfully with those summer barbecue steaks. Meanwhile, the lively Perrin Réserve makes for an attractive go-to red.
For something a little special, Le Jardin de Petit-Village offers a generous taste and is incredibly striking with it’s near-black appearance.
Le Jardin de Petit-Village
When was the last time you put some real thought behind the bottle of white you were buying? The Magnum Company’s extensive offering proves you can say no to a hastily bought bottle of Pinot Grigio, and these three choices are the perfect accompaniment to seafood.
Montessora “La Giustiana” Gavi De Gavi, with floral notes and a hint of almond, is excellent with a tuna steak.
If you’re in the mood for something bone dry and zesty, Pazo Señorans, Albariño from the rugged Galician coast will team well with sushi or fresh oysters.
For something a little fresher and brighter, opt for a bottle of Montonale Montunal – ideally with grilled fish.
Montessora "La Giustiana" Gavi De Gavi
Pazo Señorans, Albariño
Whispering Angel requires little introduction, which is why George Clements, founder of the Magnum Company, says “a magnum is the only way to enjoy it, as a bottle will simply never be enough.”
To mix up your offering, a magnum of Miraval – the vineyard owned by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie – will pair wonderfully with a picnic of cured meats and cheeses, while the AIX Rosé offers something crisp, lively and with just a little hint of spice.
Can’t decide? If you’re in London, stop by the Gentleman’s Journal store in Mayfair’s Burlington Arcade. The Magnum Company have stocked a fantastic wine cellar, offering some of the biggest and best bottles you could hope to uncork this summer.
What’s more, to celebrate our partnership, we’ve got a very special offer for members of the Gentleman’s Journal Clubhouse. Refer three friends (by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with their details) and you’ll receive a complimentary Perrin Côtes du Rhône magnum.
The Magnum Company
For more of the best bottles of 2019, here’s our rundown of the 10 very best new whiskies…