Have Unopened 1988 And 89 Laying Flat In The Dark-

I have several bottles of chardonnay laying in a dark cabinet dating back to 1989 and 1988 as well as Ken Jack Pinot Noir and Syrah dated 1999, should I toss them?


Answer From Expert Roger Bohmrich MW

Wine is full of surprises, particularly as it ages in bottle. True, a standard California Chardonnay from the late 1980s is unlikely to have survived and be drinkable nearly thirty years later, even if well stored. When you say cabinet, do you mean one for clothes? If these bottles had been kept in a wine refrigerator all these years, you would stand a better chance. As for the red wines from the late 1990s, while I don't have a great deal of hope, there is a better chance than for the older whites. In the end, you'll only be sure about the condition of the wines when you pull the corks: If the whites are dark butterscotch in color, and the reds are light brown, you'll know that they have in all likelihood turned the corner. But you could have at least one decent bottle - perhaps the Syrah?


About The Expert

Roger has enjoyed a lengthy career in the wine trade as an importer and retailer, and at present he is an educator, speaker and consultant. He set up and managed Millesima USA, a New York merchant affiliated with a leading European company. Previously, he served as senior executive of importers Frederick Wildman & Sons. In recent years, Roger has judged wine competitions in Argentina, Turkey and China. Roger became one of America's first Masters of Wine in 1993.

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