Where are the best places to find methuselahs...?

Buying Champagne methuselahs

John H, Surrey, asks: I enjoyed your article about Champagne bottle sizes, and it got me to thinking that ordering a large-format bottle would be a great idea for an upcoming special birthday.

Presumably merchants don’t all stock six-litre methuselahs, so how do I go about this?

Andy Howard MW replies: There is something special about a large bottle and, for a special occasion, a big bottle of Champagne is a great option. I recently took a jeroboam (three litres/four bottles) of Moët to a 90th birthday party and it drank superbly.

There are a few things to bear in mind though – particularly if you are looking at even larger sizes such as a methuselah (six litres/eight bottles).

It is likely you will struggle to find anything larger than a magnum in a supermarket – the slow turnover and high unit cost doesn’t suit the supermarket environment. Consider one of specialist suppliers of large bottles, such as Drinksdirect.co.uk or Drinksupermarket.com.

If you have a particular favourite grand marque then try contacting the UK importer for help in sourcing a bottle – they will almost certainly be willing to help.

Bear in mind, however, that the cost will be disproportionately expensive – larger sizes are rarer and produced in small volumes.

Expect to pay just over £300 for a methuselah of Laurent-Perrier, or about £500 for Bollinger, for example. You will pay more for the pleasure of the larger size – but it’s worth it.

Finally, plan in advance how you are going to chill the Champagne prior to the event – you may not be able to use a normal fridge so will need plenty of ice on hand. Enjoy.

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