From all of your comments, half bottles are a good thing. AND I COULDN’T AGREE MORE.
What you should consider is buying en primeur, or futures, of Bordeaux, Port and anything else on offer. This usually enables you to order what bottle size you want, from mega sizes such as imperials to half bottles. I bought some 2000 Port as futures and I ordered most of them in halves. I am going to do the same this year with 2005 Bordeaux.
I remember when I lived in London that there was a wine merchant called Halves that only sold half bottles. Unfortunately, I don’t think they lasted in business very long – I guess they only had half the business they needed! (Sorry, I couldn’t help it.) Does anyone know of a top wine shop in the U.S. that specializes in half bottles or one that has a large selection?
Half bottles – as many of you have written – are very useful for keeping wines overnight. What I mean is if you open a full bottle, you can drink half and then decant the rest into a half bottle and cork it off. I have done this for many years. So I always have an empty half bottle around just in case a bottle goes unfinished.
I remember in the 1980s when I lived in Paris that my buddies at Willi’s Wine Bar always said that the nitrogen machines for keeping half opened bottles were “a load of bullocks.” And they simply decanted leftover wines into half bottles at the end of the night and used a vacu-vin – one of those vacuum doodads that takes the air out of a bottle. It seemed to work well for them. Nobody ever complained.
In fact, Tim Johnston (one of my best friends and a former partner at Willi's), who now owns the tiny Paris wine bar Juveniles, still does the same thing. Go visit him when you get the chance.
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