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Over the years people have given me bottles of wine. I store them in my cellar, away from bright light, with the bottles resting on their sides—or even tipped forward a wee bit—to keep the corks wet.

My question is: Does wine go bad? The labels on the bottles lead me to think these are decent wines, but some of them go back to 2004.

I look at the beer list whenever Sherry and I dine out, so obviously, I'm clueless about wine. Can somebody tell me whether I can drink these bottles?


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 7th, 2013 04:38 pm (UTC)
Unless an Internet search informs you you are holding historical bottles of significance - crack open one and see if you like it. If you do - drink it. If not toss it. They can go off and become vinegary, exposure to high heat might put them off. If they fine, then enjoy them. Life is short.
Dec. 7th, 2013 09:45 pm (UTC)
My alcohol-related riff on "life is short" is "Life is too short to drink cheap beer." But you're right: Why am I hanging onto them in the first place?
Dec. 7th, 2013 08:10 pm (UTC)
90-95 percent of all wines are produced to be consumed within a couple of years. In general, red wines are more likely to become better with age, in particular more expensive red wines. If you do an online search of the wines you are holding, there is a good chance you will get a description and some guidance on their aging potential. But, in general, I would advise opening them sooner rather than later.
Dec. 7th, 2013 08:31 pm (UTC)
Hubby posted a comment that probably needs to be moderated, since he's anonymous - but the short answer is, there's no short answer. Yes it can go bad, but it can also improve with age.

We're (hubby and I) in the process of cataloging via computer program a client's wine cellar for her - over 400 bottles, and some go back as far as the 1980s. One of the main reasons she's doing this is so she can take the printed list to her wine expert for his advice on what should be opened asap, what is still aging, and what is most likely turned to vinegar.
Dec. 7th, 2013 09:44 pm (UTC)
Thanks to you and Dick for the advice. I doubt anything I have has held up particularly well. Besides, if they were anything we liked, we would have finished them by now.

About the only time I drink wine is when we get together with you before a concert. Sherry likes a glass of Riesling a couple/three nights a week, and we've found two nice ones from the Finger Lakes that she enjoys.

Now that I think of it, I hardly drink anything anymore, especially at home. I'll go months without having so much as a beer at home. Born to be wild ...
Dec. 9th, 2013 03:37 pm (UTC)
It's also worth noting whether your palate is sophisticated enough/aware enough of what that varietal is "supposed" to taste like to notice whether the wine has aged well or not. Some do deepen and change significantly over time, others can keep (especially in a cool, dark place) relatively unchanged for a few years. My parents have made wine since I was a kid, and do have bottles that date back quite awhile, to various degrees of success. A lot of them, I've noticed, haven't changed to vinegar but also don't taste the way they're "supposed" to taste, if you're picky. I wouldn't serve them to company per se, but I don't mind drinking something that's a little different than what I expected.
Dec. 10th, 2013 03:39 am (UTC)
My palate is as sophisticated as an oil field roughneck—so I guess that means, Bring out the corkscrew and take the cap off the Cheez Whiz.
Dec. 12th, 2013 10:44 pm (UTC)
Put the cheez whiz on your finger. It tastes better than on crackers.
Dec. 13th, 2013 11:59 pm (UTC)
I always wanted to snort it—stick the nozzle up my nose and let 'er rip.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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