This Year, Skip The What-Do-I-Bring Debate and Just Bring The Biggest Bottle

The definitive ‘large and in charge’ party move, brought to you by JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery.

December 6, 2017 ● 3 min read

By Lauren Friel  | Illustration by Courtney Moy 

The holidays call for grandiosity.  

But going big (in lieu of going home) comes with own set of problems to solve. Do you break the bank and show up with a spread that puts your fellow guests to shame? Do you sacrifice the one good bottle in your cupboard (you know, the one you’ve been “aging” for some epic moment in the future)? While we can’t solve all your holiday anxieties, what if we told you we had a single solution to the quality over quantity argument raging in your head? Well, here it is: It’s a magnum of wine.  

Clocking in at a full two wine bottles per single, glorious bottle, magnums are the workhorses of the party. They’re big, they’re bold, and they’re here to make you look very, very good.  

Large format wines are the ultimate party hack for two reasons:  

    Woooooo! It’s a party in a bottle!

No, seriously—one magnum contains around 10 glasses of wine, so it’s effectively everything you need for a good time. If you’re going to a party with, say, four people, one magnum will serve all of you a little more than two glasses. It also cuts down on the “Did I have the cabernet or the pinot in my glass?” portion of the evening when multiple wounded wine soldiers are scattered about the room. One bottle, one wine, no fuss. (Note: If you’re going to a party with more than four people and want to set that Greatest Guest bar nice and high, you’ll definitely need two magnums. You will if you’re coming to our party, anyway.)

    It looks cool.

Think that doesn’t matter? Instagram, dudes. It matters. And if a giant bottle of wine doesn’t say “I am the most magnificent guest at this party and everyone knows it,” nothing does. The magnum is the ultimate icebreaker. Take this real-life conversation:

“Hello, my name is Sam, and I brought this enormous bottle of wine.”  

“Thank you, Sam. You are awesome. Let’s be friends forever.”  

See? Magnums to the rescue.  

How to best wield the mighty power of the magnum, you ask? First, save it for the show-stopper course. You don’t have to hide it under your chair or anything, but let Joan from accounting pass around the Sauvignon Blanc her boyfriend made in his garage while you all mingle over stuffed mushrooms. You’ll be the hero when the rack of lamb rolls out and you have something like JUSTIN’s 2014 ISOSCELES up your sleeve—a full 1.5 liters of award-winning cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and cabernet franc. Ripe, integrated, and complex, and requires a jazzy presentation to go along with. Nice work, party animal.

Secondly, don’t try to single-hand that unless you’re like, real strong. Like The Rock strong. A magnum weighs around six pounds, and us weak-wristed folk are in for a world of hurt if we try to pour that sucker without assistance, especially when the wine starts rushing toward the neck. (We all want to look cool, but don’t be a hero.) No need for a death-grip around the neck, either: we like to support the bottle horizontally with our dominant hand from the underside and keep our non-dominant hand touching the edge of the base that’s facing the ceiling. This provides control and keeps you from dumping the whole thing into Nana’s lap.

If you do insist on showing off, make sure you’ve got a good grip; hold the bottle in your dominant hand with your thumb in the punt (that big indentation in the bottom of the bottle) and your fingers supporting the bottle’s underside, and make sure you pour sloooowly.  

And that’s it. Do the magnum thing this holiday season, and it will become your signature move before you know it. Goodbye, “what do I bring” pre-party meltdown, hello holiday swagger.