Photograph by Craig Cutler
There's a trick to throwing a first-rate party, and it's called a big-ass bottle of wine. In the sweet spot between four-figure collectibles and jugs of Carlo Rossi, you'll find large-format wines—magnums and up—that are ready to drink. Think of it as functional indulgence—all the nectar you need dressed up to make you look like a host of uncommon generosity. Rob Willey
THE ONES TO SERVE
2005 Sogno Due Falanghina (5 L): $421
This Rehoboam of Italian white comes courtesy of adult-film star Savanna Samson's collaboration with Roberto Cipresso.
2005 Stonestreet Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 L): $100
South African-born vintner Graham Weerts crafts this earthy, concentrated red from grapes grown nearly a half-mile up one of Sonoma County's Mayacamas Mountains.
N.V. Gruet Blanc de Noirs (1.5 L): $35
This dry, yeasty Pinot Noir-based sparkler has somehow emerged from the high desert of New Mexico.
2006 Orin Swift Cellars "The Prisoner" (1.5 L): $75
A defiant blend of Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Charbono, and Grenache, it's the brainchild of upstart winemaker Dave Phinney.
2004 Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs (1.5 L): $72
For small gatherings, a magnum of Chardonnay-based bubbly from California's most venerable sparkling-wine producer is just the ticket.
2006 Outpost Howell Mountain Zinfandel (1.5 L): $120
This explosively fruity and spicy red hails from a Napa Valley cult winery built on the grounds of an old CIA facility.