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Question
hello I was cleaning mams house recently when I came across a bottle of champagne I brought back from america in 1988 and I want to know if it is worth anything if not would it still be ok to drink it is a bottle of LA GRAND DAME 1979 still in its box and is from veuve clicquot ponsardin of france

Answer
HI Graham
This is really lovely stuff. With perfect storage conditions this wine might actually last this long...but I wonder if you have kept it very dark, cool and quiet?  If not, it might still have some charm, but won't capture the full value of the bottle.  Even the best Champagnes begin to show their age after twenty-five years, and I worry that this one might now be on the downside of its trajectory. At auction, a perfect bottle of this is worth more than $200...but its rare for a single bottle from a private collector to sell at top value.  

BUt it certainly won't hurt you.  If it were mine, I would chill it down and serve it on a very special occasion in the next year or so.  And I would have a back up bottle on hand, just in case.

Hope that helps?

Paul Wagner  

Wine

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Paul Wagner

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Wines of the world, wine a food matching, wine and food service questions. I currently teach Wine courses at Napa Valley College, am an international wine judge, written many articles for publication, and have been a guest speaker at way too many wine conferences to remember. 25 years in the business. With Liz Thach and Janeen Olsen, I authored the definitive book on wine marketing: Wine Marketing & Sales, Strategies for a Saturated Market by The Wine Appreciation Guild, which won the Gourmand International Award in 2008 for the best wine book for professionals! With Rick Kushman of Capital Public Radio, I host a radio show and podcast called Bottletalk at rickandpaulwine.com, where I answer questions about wine and food on the air.

Experience

30 years in the business.

Organizations
Society of Wine Educators, Academy of Wine Communications, American Wine Society

Publications
Vineyard and Winery Management Magazine, Fine Wine Journal, les Amis du Vin Journal, Society of Wine Educators Journal, and more.

Education/Credentials
I have taught at Napa Valley College for the last twenty years.

Awards and Honors
Spanish National Wine Fair: A lifetime dedicated to wine award. Espaderino della Castelania di Soave in Italy.

Past/Present Clients
Wineries include Caymus, Wente, Parducci, Shannon Ridge, Paul Dolan Wines, Vigilance, and others. Wine regions include the Union des Grand Crus de Borcdeaux, Union des Grands Crus de St. Emilion, Consorzio di Chianti CLassico, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Consorzio di Franciacorta, Rioja Alavesa, and others.

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