At a recent family gathering (my nephews 3rd birthday to be precise) there was thankfully a good selection of Yapp wine doing the rounds as well as more child friendly fair, my Aunty Shirley mentioned that she liked a glass of wine with her meal but didn’t always fancy broaching a full bottle.

This started the discussion about the merits of the half bottle of wine (I’ve always enjoyed the concept of the Magnum but a half bottle?) after all, purists will be quick to point out that finer wines age best in full-size bottles or (better still) magnums. They are right – as far as I remember from WSET study, the lower ratio of wine to air in the bottle encourages a slow maturation that benefits the wine. But there are always two sides to every story - it’s also a great way to try fine wines ‘early’ as the wine matures quicker in half bottles – I was warming to the concept more.

Then, I was thinking about mid-week ‘school nights’ – a half bottle gives 3 glasses and I could run a white with the starter and a red with the main – that would keep both adults at home happy for the night – while the 2 fans of CBBC (aka my children) slept upstairs – we’d not let any wine go to waste and we’d have the opportunity to sample different wines over the evening.

However, the most convincing argument for the half bottle was made by Mei, our long standing Shop Manager – “Ah, the half bottle – it comes into it’s own when you  want just a bit more – so being mindful of the advice at - I think I’ve found a reason to add some halves to my home selection.

Like the small variety packs of breakfast cereal I loved as a child there is something about a favourite wine in a small perfectly formed version of it’s traditional format. Very few merchants these days carry a decent stock of half bottles – so as one of the few that continues to promote this underrated format why not give our current Helpful Halves a try?