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Bill Spohn

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Tell Us About Your Biggest Bottle

by Bill Spohn » Mon Oct 22, 2018 3:04 pm

The hierarchy of bottle sizes is laid out at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wine_bottle

I have had double mags quite a few times, but recently I partook of the wine from a Salmanazar, which contains 12 regular bottles worth of volume (1981 Beringer PR) and realized that was a personal record for me. What is your largest bottle experience?

For the bottle size we had, see https://i.pinimg.com/564x/51/0c/5e/510c ... 7e51d3.jpg (too big to post here).

It is worth noting that the corks of anything larger than a magnum are not standardized and can be odd sizes. We had a double mag of an older Bordeaux once that had a much larger than normal hand made cork (that fell into the wine when we tried to apply the screw, but that's another story).

BTW, the 81 started out slow and built as it got air and became a very nice wine indeed. Wait for Jenise's notes!

I have had the pleasure of helping drink four bottles of 1963 vintage Port that was in non-standard bottles - 1.8 liters.
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Dale Williams

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Re: Tell Us About Your Biggest Bottle

by Dale Williams » Mon Oct 22, 2018 3:17 pm

Biggest I remember drinking was 6 L I think, a few of those, latest was NV Taittinger

Biggest I own are 2 3L '01 Montelena, and 1 3L '09 MaxGrun Abtsberg Auslese.
Last edited by Dale Williams on Mon Oct 22, 2018 5:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tell Us About Your Biggest Bottle

by David M. Bueker » Mon Oct 22, 2018 4:51 pm

I have had wine from a 3L multiple times, but I do not own anything larger than a magnum. I would have zero use for a larger size.
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Re: Tell Us About Your Biggest Bottle

by Jenise » Tue Oct 23, 2018 3:10 pm

Bill, that was my biggest bottle, too!! Here's my note on it: "medium plus color with plummy dark fruit, earth, mushrooms, herbs, smoke and coffee bean on the palate. Lively, with fairly perfect balance between tannins and acid." Not too detailed, as that wine arrived as we were having some drama at my end of the table with Alvin's friend N_____ (who proved to be a classless idiot).
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Re: Tell Us About Your Biggest Bottle

by Paul Winalski » Wed Oct 24, 2018 1:54 pm

The largest bottle I ever drank from was a Nebuchadnezzar of Pol Roger Champagne. It was a surprise at the 30th birthday party of a friend who likes large-format wine bottles.

-Paul W.
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Re: Tell Us About Your Biggest Bottle

by Jenise » Wed Oct 24, 2018 2:15 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:I have had wine from a 3L multiple times, but I do not own anything larger than a magnum. I would have zero use for a larger size.


Same here. I owned one double magnum and then found it was kind of hell to get rid of it. Finally, we dressed it in baby clothes, took a picture, and emailed it to friends to come over and meet "our new baby".
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Re: Tell Us About Your Biggest Bottle

by wnissen » Wed Oct 24, 2018 3:18 pm

I'll admit that I never quite understood the attraction of very large bottles. From a statistical standpoint, you want smaller bottles. So I have only owned maybe 1 dozen magnums, and then only for "party" wines where I know many people will be sharing. So sparkling wine or Bordeaux when we're having red meat. So I guess my biggest bottle is a multi-way tie between Solter Rheingau Sekt and 2005 Château Mylord Cue Milady.
Walter Nissen
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Re: Tell Us About Your Biggest Bottle

by Jenise » Wed Oct 24, 2018 4:55 pm

wnissen wrote:I'll admit that I never quite understood the attraction of very large bottles. From a statistical standpoint, you want smaller bottles. So I have only owned maybe 1 dozen magnums, and then only for "party" wines where I know many people will be sharing. So sparkling wine or Bordeaux when we're having red meat. So I guess my biggest bottle is a multi-way tie between Solter Rheingau Sekt and 2005 Château Mylord Cue Milady.


We were recently invited to dinner by a friend who opened a magnum of champagne to serve with appetizers before we all advanced to the table for the main meal. 8 people, 1 bottle, 1 hour--it was perfect. And I took a magnum of barbaresco to the same party that inspired Bill and this thread. Perfect for a large group, plenty to share (even enough for the butthole stranger down-table who grabbed and poured for himself and his friends, never even looking at the label to see what he was drinking). But I don't get enough opps like that. Need to make a few before any of my mags rot!
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Re: Tell Us About Your Biggest Bottle

by Bill Spohn » Wed Oct 24, 2018 5:44 pm

Psst -Jenise- I’ll open a mag if you will....(I also have some that need drinking
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Re: Tell Us About Your Biggest Bottle

by Dale Williams » Wed Oct 24, 2018 7:56 pm

I especially like mags of Champagne for pre-dinner- as Jenise says good size for that. If I'm checking water orders, decanting dinner wines, prepping a first sitdown course or helping Betsy, nice not to have to pay attention to bubbly after first pour

3L - if not too dear I open at big backyard parties. For a 98 Pomerol I opened as one of the wines at my 50th, several dozen people. Expect to do same with 01 Montelenas, for a big anniversary party. A bit unsure re the Auslese, though. :shock:
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Re: Tell Us About Your Biggest Bottle

by Jenise » Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:46 pm

Bill--deal! Here's what I've got:


2006 Champagne Copinet Champagne Cuvée Marie Etienne Champagne Blend
1977 Dow Porto Vintage Port Blend
NV Ensemble Cellars Release Number Nine Walla Walla Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
NV Ensemble Cellars Release Number Seven Walla Walla Valley Red Bordeaux Blend
2013 Fattoria di Fèlsina Berardenga Chianti Classico Riserva Chianti Classico DOCG
2010 Kapcsándy Family Winery Endre Yountville Red Bordeaux Blend
2009 Marcel Lapierre Morgon Gamay
2001 Luigi Giordano Barbaresco Montestefano Nebbiolo
1998 Château Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend
2006 Domaine Ponsot Morey St. Denis 1er Cru Clos des Monts Luisants Vieilles Vignes Aligoté
1998 Château Prieuré-Lichine Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend
2007 Château de Saint-Cosme Côtes du Rhône Les Deux Albion Red Rhone Blend
1995 Le Vieux Donjon Châteauneuf-du-Pape Red Rhone Blend
1995 Woodward Canyon Cabernet Sauvignon Dedication Series Columbia Valley
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Bill Spohn

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Re: Tell Us About Your Biggest Bottle

by Bill Spohn » Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:37 pm

1990 Banfi Brunello
1997 Plaisir de Merle
1983 Grahams
1999 Produttori Barbaresco (normale)
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Re: Tell Us About Your Biggest Bottle

by Jenise » Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:46 pm

We can have quite the party! Btw, just went out to the cellar to verify the presence of those St. Cosmes which I didn't recall seeing lately. (They're still there.) But I found two other magnums of barbaresco not even in my inventory. Nothing to write home about, I didn't even buy them--my neighbor did and dumped them on us when he found them not to his taste. Having a planning meeting for our wine club Christmas dinner on Friday night--found these just in time!
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Re: Tell Us About Your Biggest Bottle

by David M. Bueker » Thu Oct 25, 2018 8:48 am

Dale Williams wrote:I especially like mags of Champagne for pre-dinner- as Jenise says good size for that. If I'm checking water orders, decanting dinner wines, prepping a first sitdown course or helping Betsy, nice not to have to pay attention to bubbly after first pour

3L - if not too dear I open at big backyard parties. For a 98 Pomerol I opened as one of the wines at my 50th, several dozen people. Expect to do same with 01 Montelenas, for a big anniversary party. A bit unsure re the Auslese, though. :shock:


Did somebody say Auslese? :mrgreen:
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Re: Tell Us About Your Biggest Bottle

by Bill Spohn » Thu Oct 25, 2018 11:50 am

I'd build a whole dinner (or at least a course or three) around the big bottle of Auslese. We drink these wines far too seldom and they can work well with food. I have frequently used German wines in my terrine events.

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