Pro tips and information
SAFE AND SOUND “Larger bottles have thicker glass and keep wine safer from light, temperature fluctuation and transportation,” says Zoltan Szabo, sommelier and wine consultant.
WHITE FLAGS Since there is less oxidation in a large bottle, “magnums tend to age a lot more slowly and certainly keep whites and Champagnes fresher,” says Lorie O’Sullivan, sommelier at The RitzCarlton Toronto.
PREP SCHOOL Set bottles of red upright the day before, so sediment settles. Allow several hours to fridgechill large whites or up to an hour in an ice bath. “Use a sink or tub,” says Sheila Flaherty of importer Halpern Wine.
POUR TECHNIQUE Magnums are heavy, so open on a low surface. “A table, not a countertop,” says Serguei Kourokhtine, maitre d’ at Toronto’s Le Notre Bistro. Pour with one hand at the bottom, thumb in the punt (dent), and one under the neck.