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Beverages/champagne value


I have a bottle of Bollinger R.D. 1969 DeGeorge LE12 Janvier 1978.
Do I have something of value?  

Thanks.  JB

HI John

With a bottle of bubbly this old, it all depends.  Even the greatest Champagnes begin to show their age after about twenty-five years, and yours is well past that point.  But it is also a truly great Champagne.  If you can document that it has been stored in perfect conditions (such as those in deep in the underground cellars in Champagne, where it is pitch black and never gets above 52 degrees F.) then this could well be worth a lot of money.  I've seen bottles like that sell for $350-$500.  But if it has been under your sink, the wine is almost certainly DOA.  If you don't have a long track record of selling rare bottles at auction, your wine won't get the same price as wine from a well-known collector, for exactly this reason.

It is illegal for private individuals to sell alcoholic beverages in the USA, so you would have to work through an auction house or fine wine retailer--and they would take a significant commission on the sale.  It might be worth checking with a wine auction house--or looking at, the internet wine auction site.  

If it were mine, I would open it soon for a special occasion, and I would have a backup bottle on hand, just in case.  Or I would give it to someone who truly loves old Champagne, with a caveat about its possible condition.

Hope that helps

Paul Wagner  


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Paul Wagner


I have spent most of my adult life eating and drinking throughout the world, and can usually remember some of it! With Rick Kushman of Capital Public Radio, I host a radio show and podcast called Bottletalk at, where I answer questions about food and drink on the air.


30 years in the business.

I have taught at Napa Valley College for the past 20 years.

Past/Present Clients
Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines Company, The Court of Master Sommeliers, Constellation Wines, The Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux, Vinitaly, Napa County Agricultural Commissioner.

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