Large-Format Bottles

From magnum to Nebuchadnezzar, oversized bottles add drama to a meal’s pomp and circumstance.


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Function meets fashion as sommeliers nationwide employ large-format bottles to heighten guests’ experiences. Long cherished for gracefully aging wine, oversized bottles double as a showpiece, often creating a diningroom spectacle. These three wine-and-food destinations on our 100 Best Wine Restaurants list have a striking collection of fine wines available in flashy sizes.

Gilt at The New York Palace Hotel

New York City

“Think about it, when was the last time you opened a magnum of anything to have with a pizza on your couch?” says Patrick Cappiello, wine director at Gilt. “What I like best is the celebratory feeling that large formats generate. [Another] great thing about largeformat bottles is [the wine] age[s] slower than wines in 750-ml or 375-ml [bottles]. I usually find magnums have a more fresh profile than their smaller siblings.”

Highlights from Gilt

Araujo 1994 Eisele Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley), Jeroboam
Château Bellefont-Belcier 1995 St.-Émilion, Imperial
Château Angélus 1995 St.-Émilion, Jeroboam

Read more about Gilt at The New York Palace Hotel.


 

 


Here are two more restaurants that specialize in large-format bottles:

Spiaggia

Chicago

“Pouring from large-format bottles makes a statement,” says Jason Carlen, wine director and sommelier. “Sometimes I seek out special large-format bottles to pour by the glass knowing our guests will want to take part in the action. I love walking through the dining room cradling a big bottle. My favorite to pour is Champagne.”

 

Highlights from Spiaggia

Cantalupo 1999 Ghemme, Jeroboam
Nino Negri 2005 5 Stelle Sfursat (Sforzato di Valtellina), Jeroboam
Pierre Péters 2002 Les Chétillons Cuvée Spéciale Grand Cru Le Mesnil Blanc de Blancs Brut (Champagne), Magnum

 

Read more about Spiaggia.


Veritas

New York City

“Great bottles of wine are [drunk] too quickly without giving the wine [time] to change and evolve,” says Rubén Sanz Ramiro, head sommelier. “Since it’s going to take, in most cases, more time to consume wine [in large format], the wine will have the time [it] deserves, and the experience becomes far more interesting and engaging.”

Highlights from Veritas

Domaine de la Romanée-Conti 1988 Montrachet, Methuselah
M. Chapoutier 1996 De L’Orée (Hermitage), Double Magnum
Château Mouton Rothschild 1982 Pauillac, Double Magnum

Read more about Veritas.

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