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The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Jane MacQuitty discusses bottle size in her weekly column while remembering the old wine merchant adage that "there are no great vintages, only great bottles". She explains how 37.5cl half bottles "are not reliable as full bottles (75cl)" and age quicker because "there is more oxygen per centiliter of wine trapped in the neck of the bottle". The converse is true of magnums. One size that has won her approval is 50cl, and Waitrose has recently launched a range of eight different screw-capped options in this size. They are made "for drinking, not keeping" with the 2006 Ctes du Rhne from Louis Bernard (3.99) and the 2006 Chardonnay Loire Ampelidae (4.99) both worth investigation.