Why You Should Serve Magnums at Your Next Party

Why You Should Serve Magnums at Your Next Party photo

I’ve always been “the wine person” in my social circles, which means I’m bringing wine to your house whether you asked for it or not. And while my friends have always been stoked to try whatever I’m stoked to be bringing, they aren’t lining up at the door to greet me any more than they do for “the beer guy.” That is, until I brought magnums to a Memorial Day barbecue. Then, the modest enthusiasm that usually greets me turned into the kind of fanfare reserved for party scenes in movies. You know when the dork shows up with a keg and Mase’s “Feel So Good” comes on and suddenly it’s slow-mo, and everyone attractive is high-fiving? Yeah, that exactly.

Alright, fine, it was more like a bunch of thirty-somethings in dad hats eating crudités and listening to Action Bronson at a reasonable volume. But people were still way, way more excited to drink out of magnums—the big bottles that hold 1.5 liters of wine—than they had ever been about the two or three regular-sized bottles I had brought to the same soirees time and time again. I was pretty surprised. I had never even thought to buy mags before. They felt ostentatious, like something Flava Flav would put on a chain. They also seemed expensive, and I hadn’t ever seen them in wines I actually wanted to buy. But there they were in Domaine LA, my local wine store, a whole corner of them, begging me to grab them like a bunch of robust and classy jugs of Carlo Rossi. So I did. And have never looked back. Here’s why:

They’re Straight Up Bigger
The initial thought of magnums is, they’re huge! But they’re actually the perfect size if you need more than one bottle (duh, of course you do). At 1.5 liters, one magnum is the equivalent to two bottles of wine, making them a most excellent choice for everything from intimate dinner parties to backyard BBQs to total ragers.

They Make Less Trash 
While most everything about magnums is more, it’s less where it counts. It’s less trash, less time spent getting up to fetch another bottle, less time spent uncorking, and less time spent trying to find where you even left the damn wine key (seriously, I’ve been trying to find my favorite wine key FOR A WEEK now). Because if we’re being real, uncorking can occasionally become a pain in the ass if you haven’t received one of those fancy electronic wine openers at a work gift exchange yet.

georges-laval-champagne-magnumFor BIG celebrations: Georges Laval Brut Nature Champagne

They’re Better Quality
If you’re also ‘the wine person’, listen up: Winemakers must have magnum bottles custom made, so when a producer decides to go for it, it’s because they really love that wine and believe in it. And because of the bottle itself. While a little oxygen is good for wine, a lot of oxygen is terrible. When a wine is bottled there is always a little bit of air at the top, called the ullage. Because the ratio of ullage to actual wine is much smaller in a magnum than in a standard 750mL bottle, magnums oxidize slower. This slower oxidation increases the wine’s freshness and decreases the risk of buyer’s remorse over shitty, faulty wine.

They Ensure Everyone is Drinking the Same Thing
Just because you buy two bottles of wine from the same producer, from the same store, hell, even if you buy them at the same time, they won’t necessarily taste exactly the same. Magnums guarantee everyone is tasting the same thing, which is great for insane people like me, and also anyone who wants to have a conversation about the wine.

They’re Great for Aging
For those of you who have a cellar that isn’t just the coldest corner of your closet, you should start investing in magnums. That slower oxidation stabilizes and preserves the wines for longer periods of times, making them the best size for aging. While they’re hanging out in the cellar, the aromas and flavors are maturing, creating new complexities and nuances that you wouldn’t experience if you had popped that shit last Friday. 

saint-lucie-rose-magnumFor that BBQ you’re going to this weekend: Domaine Ste. Lucie MiP Rosé

They Are Really Fun
Oh, c’mon. Who are we kidding? The same reasons one might hesitate over buying magnums are the same reasons to love them. They feel showy because they are showy, and pouring wine out of them make you feel like you’re in a Baz Luhrmann film. They’re a conversation piece in and of themselves, and showing up with one is the quickest way to become the life of the party. And despite being big, you can still chug them with one (strong) arm. Trust me. #RossTest

For Patio Parties: Domaine Ste. Lucie MiP Rosé, $49.99
For Dinner With Your Mains: Domaine Dupasquier Savoie Gamay
For Geeking Out: Brendan Tracey Pineau d’Aunis, $50
For Celebrating A BIG One: Georges Laval Brut Nature Champagne, $229.99

Related: The One Wine You Can Drink All Summer Long

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