Beer & Wine Wine

The Right Magnum of Wine for Every Occasion

These extra-large bottles will keep your warm-weather celebrations going all day long.

wine magnums for every occasion
Image: / Tim Nusog

Bigger is sometimes better, at least in the wine world, where more high-end labels are upsizing their offerings by unleashing a wave of new magnums. And why not? Magnums are fun. A one-and-a-half-liter magnum might simply (and literally) be two bottles worth of wine in one larger package, but it represents much more: an unbridled and enthusiastic joy, a cause worth celebrating, a bit of indulgence that will capably serve you well across an entire season’s worth of imbibing opportunities.

These are the five bottles you need for every warm-weather occasion, from an easy-drinking, beach-appropriate rosé to a rich malbec that complements barbecue. And, hey, if you can’t find the below in magnum size, you can still enjoy these picks by purchasing two 750ml bottles. All in, that’s the same amount of wine, but you get to pop double the corks.

  • For the Barbecue: 2014 Zuccardi José Zuccardi Malbec ($90)

    zuccardi malbec / Tim Nusog

    Third-generation winemaker Sebastian Zuccardi honors his father, José Alberto, with the José Zuccardi line. Traditional winemaking is deftly combined with the high-altitude vineyards of Argentina’s Uco Valley, ranging from about 3,500 to 4,500 feet in elevation. The 2014 malbec includes 5% cabernet sauvignon for balance and structure. The wine is fermented in concrete and matured in large oak foudres, delivering booming, rich flavors with layers of spice, tannins, cherries and plums. It all comes together into a harmonious package that works great on its own but shines brighter when paired with food. Pour this malbec at your next barbecue, and see how it makes your burgers and steaks taste even better.

  • To Take Camping: 2016 Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon ($93)

    Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon / Tim Nusog

    The fire is crackling, the stars are out and a cool evening breeze is rolling through your campsite. It’s a prime opportunity to showcase a luscious red, such as Mount Veeder’s 2016 cabernet sauvignon. The Napa Valley producer rounds out the cabernet sauvignon with merlot, petit verdot and malbec, delivering an earthy, rich and full-bodied bottle. With juicy red fruits backed by dark chocolate and berries, this wine will transition from a post-hiking reward in the afternoon to the s’mores you’re having for dessert.

  • To Bring to the Beach: 2018 Tormaresca Calafuria Rosato ($20)

    Tormaresca Calafuria Rosato / Tim Nusog

    Tormaresca’s Calafuria screams beachside enjoyment, from its eye-catching seascape label to its vibrant watermelon shade. It doesn’t hurt that it was made with 100% negroamaro grapes from Tormaresca’s Masseria Maime estate in Italy, abutting the beautiful Adriatic sea in Puglia’s Salento IGT (Indicazione Geografica Tipica) region. Bright and refreshing, the 2018 Calafuria showcases floral notes with heaps of peaches, offset with enough acidity to keep things crisp and interesting. Serve this wine chilled, and it will cool you off on even the warmest summer days.

  • For a Special Occasion: Besserat de Bellefon Cuvée BB 1843 ($600)

    Besserat de Bellefon Cuvée BB 1843 / Tim Nusog 

    For a stylish party, choose a wine that fits your celebration. The Cuvée BB 1843 from Besserat de Bellefon will more than work, impressing your guests not only with a proper dose of flash thanks to its shimmery blue bottle but also with an elegant taste that will leave the whole party feeling bubbly. The bottle is named for the year of the house’s founding, and as the pinnacle of the Besserat line, it’s produced in limited quantities. Balanced and dry, this wine offers mineral and toast notes alongside tinges of spice, citrus and forest vegetation. It’s worth the splurge for your next big bash.

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  • To Watch a Movie With: Gérard Bertrand Gris Blanc Rosé ($30)

    Gérard Bertrand Gris Blanc Rosé / Tim Nusog 

    Sometimes the best way to enjoy the heat is to avoid it entirely by hiding in the comfort of your air-conditioned home. So, if Netflix-and-chill is on your agenda, gather a few of your closest friends and pull out a bottle of Gérard Bertrand’s gris blanc rosé. The acclaimed French winemaker has produced a barely pink rosé that's fresh and fruity with a surprisingly well-rounded profile. Take a sip, and you’ll find red berries and minerality alongside a clean floral bouquet that keeps you coming back. The only question is what you’ll crush first—the bottle or your binge-watching session.