It’s possible to consume a magnum of wine by yourself, but that doesn’t make it advisable. The equivalent of two bottles in one, the party-sized format necessarily implies a crowd.
For reasons both practical and psychological, then, the magnum has been of limited utility these past two years. Case in point: the magnum of Champagne, purchased on a whim in February 2020, that continues to gather dust in my closet. Wedged between an old suitcase and a crate of shoes, the bottle assumed an exaggerated significance during the height of the pandemic, a relic of simpler times.
Of course, the situation could change at any moment. But with this year’s holiday gatherings poised to be far more IRL than the last, maybe it’s not too soon to entertain 1.5-liter-sized hopes once again. If anything, the diverse assortment of large-format bottles currently in the market appears to suggest as much.
From familiar standbys (Beaujolais, nebbiolo, sparkling rosé) to far more esoteric fare (unfortified, flor-aged palomino fino; Chilean skin-contact chasselas), there’s no shortage of excellent options that—importantly—won’t drain your holiday gift fund. All produced by small growers and available for less than $75, here are 10 bonus-sized bottles to help get you through whatever form this year’s festivities will take. —Zachary Sussman
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