As we approach the end of the year, we all take stock of what has changed in the last 12 months. Socially, politicially, and personally, everything matures, dematures, and alters throughout the year. 2008 is right around the corner and no matter how hard anyone tries by eating organically, doing pilates 14 times a week before Wednesday, or drinking a glass of red a day for “health reasons”, at some point in the next year your age will increase by one number. Hopefully this change will be for the best, but how about that 1971 Richebourg you have been saving? You think the bottle should still be good, but is it really? Your bottle of wine hasn’t been exercising and eating healthy like you, so is the start of the New Year actually benefiting your bottle or has it gone the way of the Spears family?
My parents have a rather extensive wine collection that I cataloged on Snooth on Christmas Day. They have a fair share of wines from the 70s and 80s, some from wineries I hadn’t heard of and vintages I knew nothing about. I’d love to tell them that their collection is a very tasty one (considering they own a few bottles of Krug, Louis M. Martini, Inglenook, and Opus One), but how could I be sure I wasn’t getting their hopes up?
There are a few ways you can check.
1. Has your wine been stored in the proper way? If not, it could be bad. (See my wonderful blog post about Wine Storage )
2. Is there an abnormally large amount of sediment in the bottle? This might indicate the wine is bad.
3. Does it look like the bottle is less full than it should be? There could have been evaporation and/or leakage due to a not-so-tight seal.
4. Does the cork cover turn around? If its stuck and won’t budge, it’s possible, but not indicative, that there has been leakage.
Last but not least, there’s my favorite test and by far the most fool-proof one: pop it open and take a sip. Since my parents collection is over 100 bottles, I decided for my own personal health (and safety once my parents figured out what I was up to), it was best to not test them all out. Hopefully, using the tests above, they can decide down the road what’s going to be good to drink and which ones just might look better as decorations.
Have a Happy New Year Snoothers!
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