Tag: The Wall Street Journal

Jun 06 2012

Don’t Overlook the ‘Wow Factor’ and Value of Magnums!

Posted on June 06, 2012 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Here’s a few interesting facts about magnum size bottles of wines:

1. They are perfect for dinner parties. They contain about 12 glasses of wine and come with that wow factor, as in, ‘you must really know your wine to have the confidence to splash out on a magnum’, or ‘you obviously have enough room in your cellar to accommodate magnum size bottles or, better still, you obviously store your wine in a professional wine storage facility!’ (Yes, I know, a shameless plug!)

2. Experts agree that they are the best format for ageing wines. This has do with the fact that the proportion of wine to air in a magnum is greater than in a regular 750 ml bottle and consequently the wine develops more slowly. Jamie Goode of the Wine Anorak goes so far as to say: “From many discussions with collectors and experts, I’m convinced that the optimal ageing trajectory for top wines is achieved with a combination of a sound cork, a magnum bottle, and horizontal storage at a constant 11 ºC at high humidity. The wineanorak guide to storing wine at home, wineanorak.com)

3. Typically, wine producers only bottle their top drops in magnums, and are inclined to give the bottling another level of oomph by going all out in terms of presentation. Today, for example, I received an email from Clonakilla. They have just released magnums of their flagship Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier 2010.  Each magnum comes packed in a pine box imprinted with the Clonakilla logo and vintage year!

I’ve often wondered why magnums aren’t more popular. The Wall Street Journal’s Lettie Teague pondered this question in a wonderfully titled article, Magnum Force: Big Bottles for Big Bashes. Here’s a few of her interesting insights:


  • Women, in general, don’t buy magnums. Contrary to popular belief, women are actually big wine buyers, so the fact that they shy away from magnums can have a big influence on a wine store’s decision to stock them.
  • .. [Read More]

Mar 03 2012

Savaterre Chardonnay: The Sommeliers’ Choice

Posted on March 03, 2012 | By merrill@cellarit.com

The Wall Street Journal’s Jay McInerney recently wrote a very interesting article about the growing influence of sommeliers in shaping wine tastes. Our guest editor David Hawkins of One Aussie’s Wine (an Aussie wine buff now living in New York City) followed up with an insightful post about how the shift away from big, ripe, concentrated wines to more elegant and artisanal offerings is part of a wider cultural phenomenon that favours quieter, sophisticated fare, as witnessed by the critical success of the silent movie “The Artist”.. [Read More]

Oct 10 2010

The Two Speed Wine Market!

Posted on October 10, 2010 | By merrill@cellarit.com

For most Australian wine consumers the last few years have been a buyer’s heaven. The wine glut, increased competition from overseas, a high Australian dollar and the GFC have created a ‘perfect storm’ – leading to some of the best buying opportunities in decades!

So you may be surprised to hear that in Asia, and in particular Hong Kong and China, demand for wine is accelerating and prices, especially for first growth Bordeaux, are booming. William Lyons of The Wall Street Journal reported that the price of Chateau Lafite Rhothschild 2000 has climbed 611 per cent since December 2004. .. [Read More]

Oct 10 2010

Weekend Wine Reading

Posted on October 10, 2010 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Have you even wondered how wine gets a ‘buttery’ aroma? Turns out that one of the chemicals that gives butter its aroma – diacetyl – is also a by-product of malolactic fermentation, the process whereby the sharp malic acid of grapes is converted into the creamier lactic acid of dairy products. Gregory Dal Piaz from Snooth provides some great insights about how wines get all those wonderful and not so wonderful, eg. cat’s pee, aromas and tastes in his very interesting article, Wine Nose: Talking about Caramel,.. [Read More]

Sep 09 2010

Weekend Wine Reading

Posted on September 09, 2010 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Looking for a few interesting wine-related articles to read over the weekend?

I’m always on the look out for wine news and wine related information posted on the web.  Many experts, professional and lay, are now writing about wine on a regular basis, and sometimes the plethora of information available can seem a bit overwhelming!

Hopefully my posts are giving you a bit of guide about what’s available, so you can create or edit your own bookmarks of favourite sources.

Here’s a few not-to-miss articles for this week:

If you’re dreaming about making a booking at one the most famous restaurants on the planet,.. [Read More]