Anthony Rose: 'A magnum is the most generous way to celebrate'


Is there anything more festive than a magnum? Apart from a double magnum perhaps, a magnificent magnum is the most generous way to celebrate a great day with friends and family. It also keeps better than a bottle, so squirrel one away.

The best-value magnum of red I've come across is the 2011 Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon, £13.99, Sainsbury's, £10.49 if you buy one or more as part of the 25 per cent off six bottles, until Tuesday. It's a mint-fresh, blackcurrant-rich Chilean cabernet sauvignon with juicy soft texture and the opulence to make it the ideal accompaniment for turkey and all the trimmings.

Perfectly mature now, the 2004 Rioja Reserva Viña Ardanza, La Rioja Alta, £37, Majestic, is a classic, with all the sweetly ripe, smoky aromas of traditional rioja and mellow bramble and strawberry fruit flavours that melt in the mouth. A great match for game, duck or goose.

For something off the beaten track, the super-elegant magnum of 2011 Bodega Chacra Barda Pinot Noir, £42.95, Lea & Sandeman (020-7221 1982), made from 25-year-old vines at Bodega Chacra in Patagonia, is Argentina's convincing answer to red burgundy, a bright pinot with a herby, red-berry fragrance and succulently juicy strawberry- and mulberry-fruit flavours.

Sainsbury's Blanc de Noirs, £39.99, an extraordinary £26.24, if you buy one or more as part of the 25 per cent off six discount, until Tuesday, is the champagne magnum to beat. A blend of 60 per cent pinot meunier and 40 per cent pinot noir blend, it's delicate and refreshing with a stylish mousse of rich bubbles that explode in the mouth with the most satisfying of clean, dry finishes.