Wine Talk

Snooth User: Robbie Armstrong

Hello wine drinkers

Posted by Robbie Armstrong, May 18, 2016.

Hello I have some white wine that's 32 years old looks like vinger now should I keep it or chuck in the bin or can u use the wine in cooking and have a champagne mixer that's 30 years old do I keep that 2 or bin it

Replies

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Reply by dmcker, May 18, 2016.

Robbie, can you post photos of both the bottles? Make sure we can see the color of the liquid (to the extent possible through the glass), it's level in the neck, the condition of the capsule at top, and also the front label and any that might be on the back. So at least two photos per bottle, I would guess.

We can give you a lot better advice when we know a lot more about the wine and its condition. Do you know how it's been stored, recently, and further in the past?

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Reply by dmcker, May 18, 2016.

Well one photo showed up, which I assume you'd already posted, once I posted my questions. How about the backside? And are you using an iPhone?

 

 

First of all, your verdelho. Sandalford's in western Oz, in the Swan Valley around Perth, and they also have since purchased land in Margaret River. Looks like they've been around for awhile (1840s!), have put effort into garnering several awards lately, and that James Halliday likes them, FWIW. They also seem to have a big wedding business at their picturesque Swan Valley site.

I don't know how they were making their verdelho in the 1980s. It's a grape that can be fermented dry, but is even more famous for being used in Madeira, which is an exquisite sweet fortified wine from islands off Portugal.

Tasting notes for their current offerings mention various fruit notes on the palate, but give me the impression it's a mostly dry wine, not least because there's no mention of residual sugar. They claim it can age well, comparing it to semillon from the Hunter Valley on the other side of Oz, which is  a grape that's also commonly used in dessert wines in France, but in Oz is often fermented dry.  This verdelho may be off-dry, though. The reason why I'm wondering is that sweeter wines can age more easily, though they're not the only kind of wine that would still be good from the early '80s if stored properly.

Looking at the bottle, it's obviously had some evaporation and oxygen seepage through the cork, and looks to be a bit 'madeirized', for lack of a better term. If it were my bottle I'd chill it, then open it and have it with some pates and cheeses and baquettes. In the highly likely event that the bottle is well past it, I'd also have another bottle or two handy if this one needs to be swapped out. However this bottle might just be a bit interesting.

 

Regarding your champagne mixer, I've never used anything like that, though I have made plenty of champagne cocktails in my time. I'd also chill it and chill some sparkling wine (both white like blanc de blancs but also maybe even some sparkling shiraz) and pour some of this in a carafe, then the bubbly over it, stir then pour into a glass and serve like a cocktail. Might also be interesting, though if you don't like it obviously don't keep drinking.

In both cases I'd want to undertake my experiments with company, so it could be fun to make a social event of the testing.

 

Let us know how you find the wine(s). You've got me curious, and these detective adventures are often fun.

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Reply by Robbie Armstrong, May 19, 2016.

Thanks for ur reply 

I'm not much of a wine drinker may give a go unless I can sell it .

they have both been stored in cupboards I assume it's been in my cupboard for about 6 years as it was handed down 2 me by the neighbour who passed away with some cool wine glasses 2  

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Reply by Robbie Armstrong, May 19, 2016.

I put some more photos up they must take a few hour 2 come through 

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Reply by Robbie Armstrong, May 19, 2016.

If I was 2 drink it is the white wine corked and how would I remove the cork if it starts 2 break up. Hey if ya live in perth u could join me for a taste when open it 

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Reply by dmcker, May 19, 2016.

Thanks for the offer, Robbie, but unfortunately I'm in Tokyo. Wouldn't mind a visit to Perth then friends in Singapore and Bali, but not in the cards right now.  :-(

Doubt you'll have much luck selling those bottles, more novelty value than anything real. Again, find a friend or family member or two, open them and have some fun and enjoyment!

'Corked' and a cork that may be dry and fragile are actually two different things. But you're right to think that you should be careful in extracting the cork from the verdelho. Take it very slow and easy, pulling it millimeter by millimeter. You might also try using an Ah So cork puller since they're best with crumbly corks. Several videos on YouTube about how to use them, and as with any type of cork pull there are lots of expensive options, but the cheapest ones work just fine.

Salud!

 

 

 

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Reply by Robbie Armstrong, May 19, 2016.

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Reply by dmcker, May 19, 2016.

Interesting glass, for a special occasion!

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Reply by duncan 906, May 20, 2016.

You are always taking a chance with very old wines. It could be lovely or it could be undrinkable. The only way to find out is to open them. Do not be upset if they are undrinkable.

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Reply by rckr1951, May 20, 2016.

Robbie - Did you say you're from Perth?  I loved that city each and every time I was there.

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Reply by GregT, May 20, 2016.

VERY unlikely they're worth anything at all and equally unlikely they're drinkable at all. But you can almost always use old wine in cooking, so it's not a total loss.

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Reply by dmcker, May 21, 2016.

Nice summary conclusion to my remarks, Greg!  ;-)

And Robbie, with bottles that you can't even cook with for reasons of quality or lack-of-dishes-that-match-in-the-near-future, you can even make vinegar with them. Some of us have vinegar casks around the kitchen and use bottles that don't work for other purposes to top them off.

Give them a try, though, and remember to have backup bottles handy.


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