These Champagne Magnums Will Make You Look Like An Absolute Hero At Your Christmas Gatho
— 13 December 2022

These Champagne Magnums Will Make You Look Like An Absolute Hero At Your Christmas Gatho

— 13 December 2022
Randy Lai
Randy Lai

Truth be told, we could begin this article with a lengthy diatribe about the many alleged benefits of drinking Champagne in larger-than-normal formats. In Bacchanalian circles, there are all sorts of established arguments about the practical advantage of favouring bubbles in ‘magnum’ (1,500ml) size.

According to Adam Holden, leading UK wine educator and Director at Berry Bros & Rudd, the magnum’s capacious confines aren’t “all for show”. “Compared to a standard size bottle, there is a lower ratio of air to the volume of wine,” Holden explains. As such, “the magnum has a genuine role to play in the long-term preservation of wine”.

Be that as it may – and I certainly count myself as a quaffer of the large-format Kool-Aid – everybody knows the Champagne magnum’s central appeal (ditto this time of year) is the magical gravitas it conjures instantly – irrespective of whether you’re at an office party, family luncheon or debrief with friends.

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Wicked fun to pour and share amongst your fellow Christmas revelers, we’ve selected a handful of Champagne au magnum that we consider to be tailormade for larger gatherings. As such, you’ll find no single vintages on this list; while we’ve chosen to lean fully into the theatricality that defines large-format bubbly with a variety of big-name Maisons.

For something off-the-beaten track – perhaps in a more readily giftable size, for that matter – you can also check out our guide to 6 of the best sparkling wines in 2022.

Veuve Clicquot Brut N.V.

best Champagne magnums

A large-format expression of Veuve-Clicquot’s popular ‘Yellow Label’, this magnum offers drinkers twice the volume of lively (but remarkably composed) non-vintage Champagne we’ve all come to expect from the region’s second-biggest producer. 

The blend is dominated by Pinot Noir (between 50-55 percent), which gives this otherwise fairly classic Brut a richness and structure that can often be absent in entry-level cuvées. A fantastic style of champers to tackle as an aperitif, before moving onto the usual still wine styles.

Pol Roger Extra Cuvée de Reserve N.V.

The priciest bottle to crack our list by a tiny margin, Pol Roger’s reserve cuvée also happens to offer the best value per glass for drinkers who prize complexity at least as much as visual drama. Hailing from the central town of Epernay, Pol Roger crafts an appropriately classic style of Champagne (albeit with the aid of malolactic fermentation). 

As with the standard size bottling, this Brut includes a robust proportion of reserve wines (i.e. 15-20 percent), further bolstering the rounded and very lively style for which Pol Roger is known. Interestingly, the House will often elect to age this entry-level blend for a longer period whenever its bottled in magnum – cellaring for anywhere between 4.5 – 8 years.

G.H. Mumm Cordon Rouge

best Champagne magnums

An increasingly common sight at high-end bars and restaurants all around Australia, Mumm’s hyper-visible ‘Cordon Rouge’ is a paean to the emblematic Pinot Noir grape – a variety that plays a hugely decisive role across the Maison’s entire portfolio. In the case of this non-vintage, the Pinot’s influence is most readily detectable in the palette – where a dry minerality rounds out the wine’s delicious (but not necessarily very complex) fruit characteristics. 

Made on fruit sourced from over 120 villages throughout the wider Champagne region, this is a consistent and fresh-drinking style calculated to delight a range of taste buds. Additionally, it’s a great option if you’re in the mood to build Champagne cocktails; and pairs seamlessly with a variety of classic Christmas seafood starters.

Moët & Chandon Brut Imperial

A wine which needs no introduction, from a house that (conservatively) produces 28 million bottles of bubbly per year, Moët’s ‘Brut Imperial’ is always a signpost on the road to Christmas debauchery. Seemingly ironclad in its consistency – no matter the year or growing conditions – this is, to all intents and purposes, the Maison’s go-to non-vintage. And, as an added bonus: they make for a pretty novel gift idea (thanks to Moët’s signature personalisation program).

Largely equal proportions of the traditional Champenoise trio – Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Meunier – are used, while the base wine is flavoured with a dosage of 7g per litre. These processes result in a Champagne style that is ideally suited to aperitifs, though – in a pinch – it can also stand up to lighter fish dishes that are popular this time of year (think crudos or the odd side of King George Whiting).

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Billecart-Salmon Brut Réserve N.V.

best Champagne magnums

A standout on this year’s shortlist for splurge-worthy Champagne magnums, the Billecart-Salmon Réserve is a wine that offers a lot to chew on (in the thematic and literal sense) regardless of whether you’re drinking in regular, large or biblical format. 

A fascinating study in contradictions, it goes down a treat among occasional drinkers: maneuvering trippingly through notes of fresh berry fruit, orange zest and lily of the valley-type florals. A world away from the smoke and brioche aromas that are typical of producers in Aÿ (shout out to Bollinger) this blend’s secret weapon is its unusually high percentage of Meunier – often relegated to a supporting role by most commercial Champagne brands.

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Randy Lai
Following 6 years in the trenches covering consumer luxury across East Asia, Randy joins Boss Hunting as the team's Commercial Editor. His work has been featured in A Collected Man, M.J. Bale, Soho Home, and the BurdaLuxury portfolio of lifestyle media titles. An ardent watch enthusiast, boozehound and sometimes-menswear dork, drop Randy a line at [email protected].