ask dr. vinny

Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs.


Dear Dr. Vinny,

Where can I find ratings for wine in bottles greater than 750ml?

—Dennis T., Lilburn, Ga.

Dear Dennis,

There’s no difference in the wine bottled in a traditional 750ml bottle from that bottled in a large-format bottle, so if you see a review for a wine, it’s the same review no matter what size container the wine is in.

The size of the bottle can come into play when aging wines, as wine in bigger bottles is said to age more slowly than it does in smaller bottles, because the amount of oxygen trapped inside isn’t as great relative to the amount of liquid. When we post the results of a retrospective tasting of older wines, we’ll mention if a wine was tasted from a magnum to account for the fact that it might not be showing its age in the same way as if it were in a smaller bottle. There’s no simple formula to follow when it comes to applying our drinking recommendations to differently sized bottles, but our drink windows can still be used as a guide, using the later end of the recommended date range for a magnum or larger container.

—Dr. Vinny


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