Is bigger always better? With champagne the answer is always yes! Bigger bottle = more champagne. Whether it be magnums (1.5L), jeroboams (3L), methuselah's (6L) or even a massive 15L Nebuchadnezzar's, who wouldn’t want to splurge on more champagne for that special occasion?
Here are the top four reasons why you should opt for big bottles of bubbly next time you are entertaining:
1. The quality of champagne is far superior. President of Taittinger, Vitalie Taittinger, says that magnum bottles are the best bottle for champagne as the ratio between air and wine is minimal compared to a standard 750ml bottle. How, I hear you ask? It all comes down to similar sized corks and openings. It is normal for some oxygen to seep through the cork, interact with the precious champagne and age it. A smaller cork to wine ratio is extremely beneficial, as it prolongs the oxidation process and encourages a longer ageing period. Larger bottles truly keep champagnes much fresher than a 750ml bottle. An excellent quality magnum could be aged for decades!
2. Bigger bottles slow down the ageing process. You may have noticed that magnums are often released later than 750ml bottles of the same vintage. Champagne Henriot cellar master, Laurent Fresnet, explains that the bigger the bottle the slower the ageing process, allowing champagne lovers the unique opportunity to experience aged champagne without the need to cellar it for years!
Photo by Wijnhandel Servir Frais via Instagram
3. Double the size. Double the champagne. Double the price? Yes, magnums can come at a higher cost than their standard 750ml counterparts. However, they are WORTH IT! Because the bottles contain double the amount of champagne, so much additional work goes into the manufacturing process. Bigger bottles require thicker glass to withstand more pressure, and also necessitate more time, labour, storage space and shipping costs.
4. Magnums look impressive and are a showstopper. Just imagine your guests arriving at your party, gasping in awe at those magnums oh so beautifully presented on the dinner table or bar. Forget about needing to find live entertainment, you are sure to impress your guests with a magnum or two on show. Due to their sheer size and impressive ageing story, magnums add an exciting yet elegant element to any celebration. If that hasn’t convinced you, the practical benefits will. No longer will you need to leave your guests to retrieve a new bottle of champagne from the fridge, big bottles can be in arms reach as your table centerpiece!
If the benefits outweigh the costs, why shouldn’t we be popping bigger bottles such as Methuselahs and Nebuchadnezzar's? Simply, the oxidation and slow ageing benefits of magnums do not always translate over to the big boys. There is the potential that the full character and complexity of the cuvée is not appropriately expressed.
In our opinion, it is better to stick with magnums. Champagne's most prestigious and respected Houses all agree they strike the perfect balance between drinkability and age.
Emperor Champagne has an impressive range of magnums available. Grab a bottle or two for your next celebration!
Shop the Emperor Magnum Champagne range here.