The Magnum

The art of choosing a bottle of wine is sacred for many of us. Selecting a vintage with the perfect blend of age and origin can be the difference between a reputation as a connoisseur and social suicide. Take a bottle of supermarket plonk to a dinner party and your invitation to the next may end up lost in the post!

Once you have identified the ideal wine, however, it may be time to consider an upgrade in bottle size. A bottle is great – but a magnum is twice the fun. That's simple mathematics.

Beyond the dimensions, however, what makes a magnum the way to go? Firstly, there's quality control. Wine manufacturers will not produce magnums if there simply isn't a market for them. If you spot a 1.5L magnum of your favourite wine, you can rest assured that it enjoys a fine reputation.

Perhaps more importantly, a magnum ages significantly slower than a standard bottle of wine. You can expect the maturation process to be halved, due to the doubled quantity of liquid within the bottle. It doesn't matter if your magnum has a screw top of a cork. Either way, the contents will remain every bit as appealing to the palate over time as they did when you plucked the magnum from the shelf.

Magnums are also harder wearing than traditional bottles of wine. This will be a relief, as most of us save our magnums for a celebration. It's hardly likely that you'll open such a product after a troublesome Tuesday in the office, though we won't judge you if you do. Thanks to the hardwearing nature of the glass used to create a magnum, however, you'll be able to transport your vintage to parties, weddings, christenings and anything else that may demand a celebration.

Once the sole reserve of champagne and the super-rich, magnums have entered the mainstream market in a big way. Why not supersize your own choice of refreshment?

Magnums assure quality long into a product's lifespan, and provide a plethora of opportunities to socialise and share the experience of a quality product. After all, no good story ever started with sharing a three-bean dip or potato salad. A magnum of wine or champagne, on the other hand, can bring any evening to life!