First, let’s point out the factual: a magnum is equal to two “normal”-sized 750ml bottles, or 10-12 glasses of wine. That may or not be the typical amount your household would consume on any given Tuesday, but it’s certainly a reasonable amount to fathom consuming on a night when you have a couple of friends over for dinner.
Next, let’s think about the dollars and cents, or more appropriately, the perceived dollars and cents. Peruse the jug wine aisle of any full-service liquor store and you’ll find a dizzying array of shiny, color-coordinated wines with words 0n the label like “hearty burgundy” and “pinot grigio”, most of which turns out to be the wine equivalent of a McDonald’s Happy Meal. The only thing these wines share in common with the ones we’ve listed below is the size of the bottle. On the other side of the coin are what we’d refer to as the “collector’s magnum”, which is to say a wine put in larger format for long-term storage to take advantage of the better wine-to-oxygen ratio a magnum provides.
We focus our attention on the considerable territory between jugs and collector mags; wines you can pop and pour without shame at a dinner party (or some other kind of party) without breaking the bank. Below we list a snapshot of our constantly rotating selection of party magnums.
NV Jo Landron Vin Mousseux de Qualité “Atmosphères” $42
2013 Jo Landron Muscadet Sèvre et Maine “Amphibolite Nature” $36
2010 Jo Landron Muscadet Sèvre et Maine “Le Fief du Breil” $48
Jo Landron is a pillar of the French natural wine community, and is certainly one of the most recognizable by his heavy-duty handlebar mustache. His wines are an absolute reference point for any serious investigation of Muscadet. We currently offer two of his Muscadets, “Amphibolite” referring to the soil composition of the same name, and “Le Fief” a single vineyard with dramatically diverse soils that is always released after an extended stay on the lees. We also have his “Atmosphères”, which is a squeaky-clean sparkler composed of 80% folle blanche and 20% pinot noir.
2012 Le Clot de l’Origine (Marc Barriot) Côtes du Roussillon “Le p’tit Barriot” $42
2013 Benjamin Taillandier Minervois “Laguzelle” $40
2011 Marcel Lapierre Morgon “Cuvée Marcel Lapierre” $95
The top wine from this iconic Beaujolais producer is made only when the vintage is right, from some of the oldest vines in Morgon (100+ years).
NV Podere Il Saliceto Bianco Dell’Emilia “Bi Fri” $45
NV Podere Il Saliceto Lambrusco di Modena “Falistra” $45
What kind of wine would a competitive Muay Thai fighter make?
2005 Sant’Elena Venezia Giulia Cabernet Sauvignon $25
We’re still scratching our heads on this wine. Why is it still available, 9 years after harvest? Why was it only bottled in magnums? Why is it so good?
2013 Frank Cornelissen Terre Siciliane Rosato “Susucaru” $60
A perennially controversial rosé from a Belgian working the volcanic slopes of Mount Etna.
NV Casa Coste Piane Colli Trevigiani Glera Frizzante “Brichet” $65
One of the last great examples of old-fashioned Prosecco.
2012 Ameztoi Getariako Txakolina “Hijo de Rubentis” $60
The Champagne method version of the most highly sought-after rosé of the summer, made in terribly small quantities.
2002 R. Lopez de Heredia Rioja Reserva “Viña Tondonia” $110
Stay tuned for updates…