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Dear Dr. Vinny,

Wine reviewers often state when a wine will be best for drinking. This appears to be standardized for the 750ml bottle. Is there a rule of thumb for the percentage decrease in years to ideal drinking time for 375ml bottles and for the percentage increase for magnums (and larger)?

—Jim, Toronto

Dear Jim,

You're right that the drink windows are for standard-size bottles. The conventional wisdom is that the additional liquid in a larger format means the wine will take longer to age, while wine in a smaller bottle ages more quickly.

There's no simple formula to follow, but you can still use the drink window as your guide. For example, if the drink recommendation is "Best from 2006 through 2012," use the earlier date as a guide for a 375ml bottle, and the later date for a magnum.

—Dr. Vinny

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