Why is the magnum the perfect receptacle for Champagne?

Feb 4, 2021 • 2 mins

That great Champagne lover, Winston Churchill, once said: "The magnum is the perfect size for two gentlemen…. especially if one isn’t drinking". No doubt about it, a magnum always creates a bit of a stir! But, in addition to its celebratory image, it is also beneficial for the Champagne for a number of reasons. Do you know what they are?

A magnum is the equivalent of 2 bottles, i.e. 1.5 litres of champagne. And here, it's all about air. "Air?" I hear you ask... Yes! The proportion of air contained between the wine and the cork is smaller than in a standard bottle. In fact, the size of the cork is the same for a bottle as it is for a magnum, the volume of air is similar in both receptacles, but the volume of wine doubles in the magnum.

The result? Your champagne is preserved much better! The wine’s evolution is slower and its aromatic notes remain fresh for a longer period of time.

It is also interesting to taste the same Champagne aged in different bottle sizes because it can be very different from one receptacle to another. If you want to test this, try tasting the same wine in half-bottles, bottles and magnum (If you want to go as far as the Melchisedech please don’t hold us liable for the consequences of your thirsty research!).

A large receptacle also means greater thermal inertia. What does that mean? Quite simply that when the temperature changes, the champagne takes longer to warm up or cool down. We therefore have to remember to chill our magnum in the fridge a long time before we want to serve it!

Experts also tend to agree that the magnum’s greater thermal inertia helps to slow down the wine’s ageing. A Champagne in a magnum will therefore remain young for longer. And here, I must confess to being a wee bit jealous...

In any event, a magnum is always a good idea, especially if you have more than 6 guests, as it serves 12 to 14 glasses. So, Champagne Lovers, what are you waiting for? Reach for your magnums!