Grapevine Archive for Bottle size

Thu 05 May 2011

In praise of the half bottle

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Wine is a beverage that holds no appeal for my teetotal fiancée, meaning I tend to find myself the sole imbiber when at home. Of course, the half bottle seemed the obvious solution, though I confess it took longer than it should for me to embrace the logic. Irrational first impressions, alas, do count, and while the thickness of a magnum can make it appear lavishly more than two bottles’ worth, a humble 375cl half looks rather diminutive next to a regular bottle.

My feelings began to change last year upon noticing a well-priced half of a favourite Tuscan red on a restaurant list. Finding the amount therein just right, I remember leaving sated and, well, remembering leaving. Though most of the wine at home remains in 75cl bottles, the experience made me realise I have been guilty of overlooking the handiness and enjoyment that the half bottle affords.

In my view, the greatest asset the half possesses is that it is a reliable guard against the domestic phenomenon of ‘wine fatigue.’ Unless the wine is truly something, having drunk a couple of glasses from a regular bottle one night and another the following evening, I simply tend to crave something different by night three.

Fatigue leads to indignation at the remaining dregs: Why should I have to drink you yet again? Opting for a half therefore makes me feel at greater liberty to experiment. The range of wines bottled in halves affords choice as well as convenience, so one can try a good deal of wines in quantities more conducive to a ‘tasting.’

As well as everyday favourites for instance, I now find myself lured by halves of Bordeaux, Barolo and more; the good thing being that these more serious and structured wines mature a little faster in a smaller bottle.

Yet whether it’s a couple of glasses at home or a relaxing picnic without being stalked by thoughts of Breathalysers, it just feels rather nice enjoying wine from a smaller bottle. For all the above, the half is greater than the sum of its parts.

Click here to view The Society’s range of half bottles, including a new release of Château d’Angludet 2007.

Categories : Miscellaneous
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