Still finding it very hard to wean myself off the lockdown beverage…which was the half-bottle of wine. No enormous shock/horror/probe: I live on my own, so the 375ml is the perfect fit for a middle-aged wine merchant, one who’s reasonably mindful of the temptations that go with an ever-lengthening career in booze. Magnums of tequila might well have offered interesting angles on the various government responses to Coronavirus, but probably an unwise shout, all things considered.
I’d completely forgotten how much pleasure the smaller format brings to the table. Back in the 1990s, halves were everywhere, offering excellent flexibility, especially in restaurants: ideal for a solo diner, or à deux, even 2 between three – sommeliers were constantly asking for availabilities of both colours. And supplies were relatively short, as growers only bottled to order.
And then things tailed off: more wines started to be offered by the glass, obviously; and recently, posh Enomatic machines have come into play, enabling a variety of measures to be dispensed, while keeping the wine free of oxidation (accountants punching the air in triumph, as wastage severely reduced). Even that most dependable of staples, the dessert wine, fell out of favour.