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Wine/Valuation Bottle of Champagne


QUESTION: Pre War 1945 Champagne- Delamotte Pere&Pils-Maison Fondee A Rheims AUXV111eSIECLE-Le Mesnil s/- OGE?- MARNE

ANSWER: Hi Keith

I don't have great news for you.  Even the best Champagnes begin to show their age after twenty-five years, and this one is way beyond that point.  The bubbles will have disappeared almost entirely, the color will be now darkening, and the fruit flavors and character will have long since departed.  For all of those reasons, this bottle won't have any real interest for those in the auction market.  It might still have a bit a charm in the bottle, but you won't get anyone to pay much for this one.

If it were mine, I would chill it down and open it on a special occasion, knowing full well that it will be delicate at best, and DOA at worst.  I'd have a back-up bottle on hand just in case.

Hope that helps--and I'm sorry I can't give you better news.

Paul Wagner

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you for your honesty- do you think it would be better to leave it with the cork in as it has a metal bar going from one side of the neck to the other going deep into the cork on top? Also I have a bottle of Black Dog whisky Centenary Aged & Rare if you can help me out aswell pls

Hi Keith

Sorry for the delay--I was taking my kids to the airport as they all headed back after the holidays.  

The value of the bottle, if it is at all collectible, would be higher unopened.  But I don't think it would really matter much with this one.  You could check with the very nice people at  They are the real experts on collectible bottles.

As for the Black Dog--the good news is that with distilled spirits, the level of alcohol is so high that they don't change much, for better or for worse, once they go in the bottle.  The good news is that this one should be perfectly good to drink.  The bad news is that it won't have appreciated in value the way some fine wines do.  It's worth about what a current bottling would sell for...and not much more.

Hope that helps!

Paul  Wagner


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Paul Wagner


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, where I answer questions about wine and food on the air.


30 years in the business.

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

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

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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