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,

Why are Champagne magnums more expensive than normal bottles? I mean, I know that there is twice as much in the bottle, but they are often priced at much more than this. If more is better, why are half-bottles not cheaper than half of the price of a normal bottle?

—Lee M., Germany

Dear Lee,

The simple answer is supply and demand. There are fewer magnums made, so the smaller inventory means they can charge more than just the equivalent of two bottles. To be fair, the supply costs for off-size bottles are typically higher too. Not just the cost of the materials of the bottle and packaging (which has to be redesigned to fit different formats), but bottling, corking, handling, storing and shipping are usually set up for standard-size bottles. When you go outside the typical bottle size, costs start to add up.

—Dr. Vinny


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