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Question
Several years ago, I was given a sealed bottle of tokaji pecsenye bor wine 1943 vintage (as this was my birth year).  It has been stored away for years in a dark, cool place and I had forgotten about it until I started to downsize!  Now, I have no idea whether to throw it away or save it due to value.  Can you help?

Thank you.

James Sneed

Answer
Hi James

This is very cool. Tokaji was once one of the greatest wines in the world: the king of wines and wine of kings!  But that was during the golden age of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.  During WWII, this region fell under the influence of the Soviet Union, and the focus was then to make great amounts of wine, rather than great wines.

So that's the background to your bottle, which dates to the exact time When the Soviets took over.  While the grapes were picked in 1943 (not a great year by any means) the wine was certainly bottled during the Soviet occupation.

It could be delicious, but it's really hard to tell.  And the storage over the past 70 years is also a question.  I doubt it would sell for much at auction...maybe around $100-150? But it still might be interesting to drink.  Don't expext it to be fruity and lively, but it might have notes of dried apricots, hazelnuts, and caramel.  Serve it lightly chilled with a delicate cheese or nuts.

And it would absolutely have an amazing story to tell.

Hope that helps

Paul Wagner

Wine

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Paul Wagner

Expertise

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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