Time for a cheeky half? Half-bottles are in…

by Andrew Hooper

and not just for January…

At this time of year, whilst we might not yet be ready to sign the pledge, most of us are keen to exercise a little restraint with the pouring arm. You’ve probably tried it, we all have – open a bottle of wine with earnest intentions to stop halfway down the bottle and finish the rest tomorrow night. Yeah, right. It’s strange, but the nearer you get to the middle of the bottle, the harder it is to judge precisely where the middle of the bottle is. And then you’ve drunk most of it, so you may as well finish it off. Thus, in order to avoid temptation, you end up not drinking any wine at all. Shocking. A half-bottle of wine (or Champagne) gives enough to make the experience joyful, but runs out before you’re tempted to ooh have just a little more.


For reasons of moderation, or if you have an abstemious partner keeping you dry, or fancy a cheeky tipple whilst the Mr/Mrs is out, half-bottles are the ideal solution. Especially at this time of year. It’s also easy to hide the empties in the recycle bin. So I’m told.

We’ve always been proud of our half-bottle range at LEA & SANDEMAN – ‘tis broader, better and more tempting than most ranges of half-bottles you might find elsewhere.

It features half-bottle versions of some of our most popular wines (all prices shown are per half-bottle)

2013 CHABLIS Domaine Adhémar et Francis Boudin     £8.95
2009 CHABLIS 1er Cru Forêts Domaine Moreau-Naudet     £12.75
2013 SANCERRE Chavignol Domaine Vincent Delaporte     £8.95
2009 CHÂTEAU DU MAINE Graves     £7.95
2009 CHÂTEAU DUCLUZEAU Cru Bourgeois Listrac-Medoc     £11.50

Half-bottles, also, give you the opportunity to treat yourself to something a bit special. If you’re drinking less, you can surely afford to drink a little better.

2010 GEVREY CHAMBERTIN Domaine Thierry Mortet     £19.50
2010 CHÂTEAU LABÉGORCE Cru Bourgeois Supérieur Margaux     £15.95
2010 CHÂTEAU TALBOT 4ème Cru Classé Saint Julien     £38.25
2011 PULIGNY MONTRACHET Noyers Brets Domaine Fernand & Laurent Pillot     £17.50

It would be remiss, of course, to fail to point out that our awesome House claret also comes in a half-bottle:

2010 LEA & SANDEMAN Bordeaux     £5.95

If I were you, I’d celebrate finding this outstanding range of half-bottles by opening (you guessed it) a half-bottle of Champagne:

BENEDICK Grand Reserve Brut     £13.95
BILLECART SALMON Brut     £21.25
KRUG Grande Cuvée Brut     £70.95
TAITTINGER Rosé Brut     £24.95

OK, the Krug is a bit extravagant, but if you can’t be extravagant with Champagne then with what can you be?  And, think on, January semi-temperance aside, how often have you found yourself in need of a quick celebration – some swift bubbles before heading off to the restaurant, a wee mid-week whoopee ‘cos the girl in Accounts you don’t like got overlooked for promotion, a quick toast to some little but significant success, or Champagne breakfast in bed because she’s worth it. She is, btw. Every fridge needs a couple of half-bottles of Champagne for emergencies.

And let’s not forget the Sherry. Not the Sherry beloved of former generations, but crisp, vibrant, super-dry, pale Fino and Manzanilla which, unless you have multiple friends and opportunity to clear a whole bottle with alacrity, is probably better from the half-bottle.

INOCENTE Fino Valdespino     £7.95
DELICIOSA MANZANILLA Valdespino     £6.50

And the great thing about dry Sherry is that is accompanies many of the ultra-healthy dishes we’re eating at this time of year. You are eating ultra-healthy dishes, aren’t you?

All these half-bottles and many more are available in our shops and on-line. You should be aware that putting a case of halves together will entail assembling 24 of the blighters, which is a healthy commitment to moderation indeed. Alternatively, to attract the case price discount they can be assembled on-line along with whole bottles in the obvious ratio of two halves representing one whole bottle.

All prices shown are per half-bottle at full retail price. For case prices please consult our web-site.

Whilst mostly French, we do have a little tickle of Italian, but you’ll find those in our half-bottle list too.