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I have a bottle of Extra Dry G.H. Mumm & Co champagne.  Label is only partially legible.  I can read the number 023750004. How do I find a year?  How long does champagne generally last if stored correctly?  What does 'bad' champagne taste and smell like?  Thanks

Many questions. First, you can't. It's a non-vintage champagne so it contains wines from several vintages. What you would ideally like to find out is the date the wine was disgorged because that would give you an idea of how much bottle age it has. Sadly that is not information that the producers readily share. Things are starting to change though and some houses have started to put disgorge dates on their NV champagnes.
Second,  champagne  can age for many decades if it's on the lees. That's why you will see late disgorged releases from Dom Perignon, Bollinger, Krug and other. It can also age many years I'm the bottle if it's a fine vintage wine. The CO2 acts as a preservative and the wine takes on nuance and complexity.
Third, if a wine (champagne or any other) is bad, you'll know right away. Basic rule is if it smells and tastes good to you then it's good. Old champagne definitely doesn't taste like young champagne. It will taste earthy with mushrooms notes, baked bread and dark chocolate flavors. Give it try.


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Joshua Farrell


I can answer most any question about wine- types, styles, grape varieties, regions, vintages, proper storage, production, wine and food pairing, wine service, decanting, proper glassware, serving temperatures etc. Regarding questions about specific bottles of wine, since I live in the U.S. my focus is on wines imported here. I can't answer questions about spirits and liquor valuations.


I have over 20 years of experience. I was a wine buyer and sommelier in NYC for many years including 4 years at Windows on the World which was NY's number one wine restaurant. I created and taught a Wine Appreciation Course at Borough of Manhattan Community College. I have worked for the past 15 years for the Wine Enthusiast Cos. as Editor, Columnist, Wine Storage Consultant and am currently Wine Director and Buyer for their online wine website, I recently judged in the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition. Follow me on Twitter @WEX_Josh

Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Diversions Magazine

Windows on the World Wine School- completed all courses from beginning to advanced. Former member of the Sommelier Society of NY. Competed in the Food and Wines of France Sommelier Competition. Traveled to wine regions in Europe including, Bordeaux, Rhone Valley, Alsace, Tuscany, Piedmont, Veneto, Rioja, and Jerez. Visited wine regions in NY's Finger Lakes, California's Sonoma, Napa and Central Coast and Oregon's Willamette Valley.

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