An Ode to the Half Bottle: Indulgence in Moderation

An Ode to the Half Bottle: Indulgence in Moderation

An Ode to the Half Bottle: Indulgence in Moderation

“Always have a sneaky half bottle of champagne in the fridge in case of an emergency.”

I have often mentioned this advice, and I thought it’s time to expand on the quote, taking the idea beyond champagne and including some white and red wines too.

There is something inherently charming about uncorking a half bottle of wine. In my humble opinion, smaller bottles offer a lot of flexibility and benefits, indulging in moderation. Obviously, when drinking a half bottle of your favourite wine, some of the benefits and taste experiences are identical to larger bottles.

But let’s delve into the other benefits of this smaller format, which is a perfect choice for those moments when you desire the delights of wine without the commitment of an entire bottle.

There might be certain periods after festive times when you need to opt for healthier choices and embracing moderation might be the clever thing to do. I am not going to get into the discussion about whether wine is good or bad for you; I think you might guess my stance on that one. As they say, everything in moderation, even moderation.

However, small bottles are perfect whenever I want to be healthier and still embrace my passion for wine, allowing a small sip from the odd half bottle, rather than feeling obliged to finish a whole one. The perfect solution for those seeking balance.

Exploring fine wine without breaking the bank is another obvious benefit. It's a chance to taste a variety of flavours without the commitment of a full bottle, making each evening a unique tasting adventure.

A Hidden Advantages of Half Bottles!
These smaller bottles have an interesting characteristic when it comes to red wine especially, in that the contents mature more swiftly than the same wine in a bottle, or compared to the perfectly leisurely pace of maturation experienced with the same wine in Magnum... 

I often find that a small bottle is a fabulous way to cosy up when I am home alone. From time to time, I have shared on my Instagram how I elevate a simple weekday meal with a decent bottle. Pairing a plate of al dente spaghetti and a schnitzel with a Barone Ricasoli Brolio Chianti Classico, 2019, ensures that I can enjoy a delicious glass or two without committing to a full bottle, relishing the experience of a great wine without the guilt.

The Marriage of Food & Wine is, of course, a popular theme for presenting wine, whether I am hosting an event, serving a meal for myself or the family and friends. Again, the smaller sizes make space (in budget) for more exploring wine and food pairing. It's an opportunity to broaden your wine horizons, discovering new favourites with each carefully curated selection. Whether it's a bold red, a crisp white, or a sparkling wine, the smaller quantity provides an opportunity to experiment with various wine and food ingredients.
I find it especially fascinating to pair simple everyday comforting food with truly delicious grapes.

A few ideas could be a rich risotto, a savoury stew, or a decadent cheese platter, paired with the smaller quantities of Château Lamothe Cissac, 2018, Cru Bourgeois Haut Medoc.

All the above make, in my experience, a compelling case for not just having half a bottle of champagne in the fridge but also for stocking some of your favourite whites and reds in the wine rack.

Small bottles are ideal for a sip before going out, a quiet evening, catching up with close friends, and exploring new wines. It’s not always about the quantity or even the wine; it's about creating memorable moments with each shared sip.

So, here’s a toast to moderation, variety, and the delights of a half-bottle…and who knows, you might discover new favourites and be inspired to get the bigger bottle next time.

But that is for another day.

Cheers, Peter

Here are some of the wine we stock in the smaller size.
Champagne Louis Roederer, Brut Premier 12x37.5cl (£264 inc VAT)
Champagne Bollinger, Special Cuvee, Brut NV 6x37.5cl (£144 inc VAT)
Château Lamothe Cissac, 2018, Cru Bourgeois Haut Medoc 12x37.5cl (£88 inc VAT)