Reims, June 2020
Father’s Day is an excellent occasion for giving — and enjoying — a magnum of champagne. The magnum format has many advantages that make it a good gift idea and also ensure full enjoyment of your champagne. Tsarine offers four magnums: Brut Premium, Rosé, Tsarine By Adriana, and Tzarina.
Big, handsome, and generous!
A magnum contains twice as much as a normal bottle — 150 cl of champagne instead of 75 cl. The origins of the format are lost in the mists of history. In Pierre Chanoine's time, during the reign of Louis XV, the term fiole double was used; but the magnum format as we know it came into being in the late 19th century under the influence of English merchants.
The large container is synonymous with abundance, and it also ensures optimum taste. Franck Coste, CEO of Chanoine Frères, says “if a party includes six people or more, magnums are the best choice. The Tsarine fluted bottle is even more beautiful in magnum format. It becomes positively majestic!
And the pleasure of tasting it is also increased. In fact, the magnum's size has an effect on the taste because it allows the organoleptic qualities of the champagne to fully express themselves. It's generally agreed that the wine is rounder, more balanced, and more expressive.”
Magnums are produced in the same way as standard bottles. The bottles are filled directly during the process of tirage or drawing-off. Tsarine magnums are then aged between 24 and 36 months in the House's cellars — four years for Tsarine by Adriana and up to five for the Tzarina magnum.
Magnums age well and keep well
Isabelle Tellier, Chanoine's Chef de Cave, says “The magnum is the ideal container for champagne because it provides the optimum balance between the volume of wine and the volume of air. In a magnum, the proportion of air between the cork and the wine — the ‘headspace’ — is less than for a 75-cl bottle. As a result the wine matures more slowly.
Another phenomenon that contributes to better keeping for champagne in magnums is that any variations in temperature have less impact on a volume of 150 cl.”
That's why Isabelle Tellier advises those who want to keep champagne in their cellars to prefer magnums: “Tsarine magnums can easily be kept for three or four years.”
How to serve a magnum of champagne?
To open a magnum of champagne, Isabelle Tellier advises holding the wire cage in place when removing the cork. That provides a better grip if the cork is a little difficult to remove. The à la champenoise serving style is perfectly suited to magnums: the bottle is held under its base in one hand and the other hand supports the neck.
Once open, during tasting, ideally the magnum should be placed in a bowl or large ice bucket with ice cubes. That will keep the wine at the ideal tasting temperatures: between 8 and 10° C for Premium Brut and Rosé and between 10 et 12° C for Tsarine By Adriana and Tzarina.
For Father's Day: a magnum on the menu
Isabelle Tellier, who develops the Tsarine cuvées, is also a food lover who devotes much attention to food-wine pairings. Here are her seasonal suggestions for accompanying an entire meal with a magnum of Tsarine Premium Brut to “make any Dad happy…”
Gougères (cheese puffs)
Asparagus with mousseline sauce
Filet mignon of veal with fresh vegetables
Fine pastry apricot tart