Wine magnums. One surefire way to get your guests’ attention in the mélange of events which surround any kind of hosted occasion is to roll in with Magnum-sized wine bottles. Each bottle is 1.5L of gaze-inducing stamina, even if that occasion is a simple Monday night in with friends.

This type of occasion is typically more frequent than lavish soirees anyway. And while 3L & 6L bottles seem to get all the glory for showstopper-level gawking, 1.5L is the more doable — and frankly, the more likely large-format option. They’re much easier to find and acquire at your local retail shop (dependant on the exclusivity of the wine, of course). Plus, they won’t leave you hunting for counter space because of their sheer size!

Magnums, on average, stand nearly 14 inches tall, and each bottle’s contents are equivalent to two standard 750ml wine bottles. They’re big enough to make an entrance, but small enough to keep a good handle on them!

When I look for Monday-night-in-with-friends type Magnums, I look for versatility. Easy-drinking without feeling dull. This isn’t the time I’ll showcase that wine with levels of all kinds of funk — despite the fact I love that. I won’t be breaking out my birth year Champagne either. Let’s be real — it isn’t often one can reach for the expensive, baller cult favorite wines, myself included. We crave them, we have them, we love them. But realistically they can’t be go-to options. I need something that will go with a lot of things and won’t also be the second coming of Sallie Mae student loans.

Below are two wines I personally love bringing out in Magnum form. As Shall We Wine notes on multiple occasions, you can be Baller On A Budget! Happy Magnum Monday!

Cleto Chiarli is a fantastic producer, responsible for a number of wine advances in Emilia-Romagna’s decorated history. A drier style of Lambrusco, with just the right amount of effervescence to pair with an array of savory dishes, this is in my personal arsenal of dependable bottles. Don’t let the Kool-Aid like color fool you. It’s simultaneously a fun yet serious wine. So ditch your preconceived ideas of what Lambrusco is. This is not your mother’s Riunite. Tip: The top enclosure may look intimidating, but it’s super easy to open! Pull the metal strip away with the top of a standard waiter’s corkscrew (not the actual screw part, but the side housing the bottle opener). Once that’s gone you can proceed to open the bottle like any other corked sparkling wine. 

Such a versatile wine! Fresh, fun, lively… and will go down easy for your dinner plans. While some producers have jumped onto the train of cranking out “organic” wine only in recent years, the Pratsch family has been doing it for over a decade in their Niederosterreich (Lower Austria) vineyards. Grüner Veltliner is Austria’s premier white grape and makes up a huge chunk of wines produced from all their winegrowing regions combined. It’s taste profile can sometimes be mistaken for other similarly semi-aromatic whites like (dry) Riesling, Pinot Gris and even Albariño.