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Wine/Old Wine Bottles - use by date help


Hi David

I recently read your response on the Blue Nun white wine question and hence this request for help. also, read that most wines are to be consumed with 2 to 3 years, we have missed that opportunity :) So before we throw them all out, we thought to ask first.

We have several old bottles that have been in a drink cupboard for many years. The cupboard is occasionally opened maybe once a month to drink a bit of Brandy :), all the bottles are stored in this dark cupboard in a vertical position. None of the content have gone solid, the liquid bubbles at the top when turned around.

I hope you are OK to briefly letting us know whether to throw out all of them or keep some.

Here is the list:
1- 1984 Blue Nun White Wine
2- 1988 De Bortoli Shiraz
3- 1990 Black Tower White wine
4- 1990 Forest Hill Cabernet Sauvignon (CS)
5 -1990 Forest Hill CS
6- Buton Gran Spumante
7- Tia Maria liqueur
8- 2008 Taylors Shiraz Clare valley
9- 2008 Penfolds Hyland CS
10- Rosso Antico Aperativo
11- 1999 Maglieri cellar reserve CS
12- 2002 Wyndham Estate Bin 555 Shiraz
13- 2004 Wyndham Bin 444 CS

Apology for the long list but these are the very old one, we separated them from the latest ones that we remember are more recent.
Thank you in advance

Hi Tony,

Few mass-market wines repay keeping for more than a few years after bottling but that doesn't apply to better-quality ones - especially those bottled unfiltered and with adequate acidity and tannin to allow maturing in bottle or sufficient alcohol to preserve them.

Of your list, I wouldn't hold much hope for 1, 3 or 6, but 7 and 10 have such high alcohol levels that they should be fine.

I don't have enough experience of Australian wines to comment in detail about all of those but I would have thought 2 and 11 needed drinking soon - judging from a d'Arenberg '88 Shiraz I drank fairly recently - but there might be less hurry to open the others if they are being stored in a cool dark place.




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David Ling


I have 40 year`s experience tasting, collecting and enjoying wines as an amateur enthusiast. Bordeaux and Port are my particular loves and I regularly buy and sell at auction. I have a good library and frequently participate in on-line discussions. I can only help with valuations, buying or selling if you tell me where you live as there are many variations around the world.


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