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  #1  
Old 03-17-2008, 05:08 PM
elmwood elmwood is offline
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Vintage Charles Shaw wine

Let's say I've got a bottle of Two Buck Chuck that I just bought at Trader Joe's, which I'm going to pass on to my grandchildren. How well will it age? Will it ever become the kind of fine wine that will end up in some Sothebys auction 50 years from now?

Last edited by elmwood; 03-17-2008 at 05:12 PM..
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  #2  
Old 03-17-2008, 05:50 PM
Telemark Telemark is offline
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Most wine is not made to be aged. Charles Shaw is certainly not made to be aged; it's made to be drunk as soon as it is on the market. It will go bad, not improve, with time.
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  #3  
Old 03-17-2008, 06:14 PM
shelbo shelbo is offline
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It will either turn to vinegar, or to a watery pale purple liquid that used to be wine.
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  #4  
Old 03-17-2008, 06:29 PM
psycat90 psycat90 is offline
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How well will it age? - Drink it within a year of purchase.


Will it ever become the kind of fine wine that will end up in some Sothebys auction 50 years from now?

Absolutely not. In fact, most wines won't.

I think it's something like less than 1% of the wines vinted worldwide that are suitable for long term cellaring. Most are from Bordeaux, and most are already outrageously priced.
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  #5  
Old 03-17-2008, 06:32 PM
HazelNutCoffee HazelNutCoffee is offline
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:: shudders at the thought of aged Two-Buck-Chuck ::

Cheap wine + age = vinegar.

As has already been said, there are very few wines that improve with time. And even those have an expiration date - they'll peak after a certain point, then go downhill from there. The main component in aging wine is tannin - it starts out hard, then mellows with age. If I am remembering my Oenology 101 stuff correctly, generally cabernets age the best because of their high tannin content. This is why few white wines age well - they tend to be lower in tannins than reds.

Last edited by HazelNutCoffee; 03-17-2008 at 06:35 PM..
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  #6  
Old 03-17-2008, 06:49 PM
psycat90 psycat90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HazelNutCoffee
:: shudders at the thought of aged Two-Buck-Chuck ::

The main component in aging wine is tannin - it starts out hard, then mellows with age. If I am remembering my Oenology 101 stuff correctly, generally cabernets age the best because of their high tannin content.
Exactly, but there is a lot more to it; balance of acid and alcohol, and a whole lot more.

A wine that will become a 'work of art' in 25 years was designed that way well before the grapes were even picked, before the grapevines were even planted.

***

Simply aging a low quality wine, even with all the tannins in the world, won't turn it into a Sotheby's worthy wine. It will just turn it into an old bottle of low quality vinegar.
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  #7  
Old 03-17-2008, 06:56 PM
Cisco Cisco is offline
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It could have cultural value in 50 years if Two Buck Chuck either:

A. Evolves into a respectable, widely-known, 35 or 40 Buck Chuck

B. Gets discontinued.

Last edited by Cisco; 03-17-2008 at 06:57 PM..
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  #8  
Old 03-17-2008, 07:04 PM
Great Dave Great Dave is offline
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My sister found some old Chuck, maybe an 01, in my parents basement last year. She said it was pretty good. But her standards are not much above two buck to begin with.
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  #9  
Old 03-17-2008, 07:06 PM
qubed qubed is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Great Dave
My sister found some old Chuck, maybe an 01, in my parents basement last year. She said it was pretty good. But her standards are not much above two buck to begin with.
Yeah, my friend has as '02 two buck chuck that i gave him when i was moving. He never drank it. We should try it and give a taste report.
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  #10  
Old 03-17-2008, 07:07 PM
WarmNPrickly WarmNPrickly is online now
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I thought the same thing. Better yet would be a bottle of Nightrain from the late eighties. Totally undrinkable, but not bad for the mantle.
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  #11  
Old 03-17-2008, 10:02 PM
Stranger On A Train Stranger On A Train is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycat90
Exactly, but there is a lot more to it; balance of acid and alcohol, and a whole lot more.

A wine that will become a 'work of art' in 25 years was designed that way well before the grapes were even picked, before the grapevines were even planted.
And even at that, most aged collectible wines are really not that great for drinking, but are more notable for their, er, notability. Two Buck Chuck will definitely not improve with aging, if indeed it is possible to improve it at all. Personally, I might use it to marinade some poor quality roast, but that's all the truck I'd give it.

There's nothing wrong with finding a good but inexpensive wine--which, after all, is meant to be drunk and enjoyed--but TBC is lighter-fluid-fortified grape juice.

Stranger
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  #12  
Old 03-17-2008, 10:18 PM
Dobbs Dobbs is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elmwood
Let's say I've got a bottle of Two Buck Chuck that I just bought at Trader Joe's, which I'm going to pass on to my grandchildren. How well will it age? Will it ever become the kind of fine wine that will end up in some Sothebys auction 50 years from now?
In glass? Not at all.

If it was in wood? Oh yah, it could be good.

Probably not, but it could be...
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  #13  
Old 01-10-2013, 10:00 PM
tom e tom e is offline
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Haha. Just had to join this forum because I just had a very unlikely experiment on this very topic. Googled and wound up here.

The Story:
Was having a party for an old friend and was talking in advance with friends about making "cheap" house drinks for those who didn't BYOB. We joked about making some 2 buck chuck sangria to serve. Anyway one of my friends offered some wine (about 30 bottles) that her mother gave to her- all at least ten years old. We were thinking we could pop them open and throw out anything really nasty, and use whatever was OK in the sangria. Well that experiment failed. After opening about 6 bottles that smelled just plain nasty (didn't even taste them) we gave up on that and bought a case of inexpensive red from the local wine shop. That sangria was awesome.

So today we are cleaning out the garage and came across the rest of those old bottles. We were thinking to open them up, dump them and save the bottles for some wine I'm making. First one? A 2000 Charles Shaw Cab. Opened it up and it didn't smell stinky or vinegerey. We laughed at the chances that this particular make would be among the best. Poured a little out and tasted- Odd. It's sweetened quite a bit, tastes really plum-like, sort of like a port without the heat. Don't get me wrong, I am not drinking the bottle (but I did fill my glass, haha), but I think I can honestly say it is BETTER than a new bottle of the same, or at least WAY more mellowed. Usually I can't really drink the stuff. Thought I had better answer here since nobody is likely to ever run this particular experiment again.

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  #14  
Old 01-10-2013, 10:37 PM
tom e tom e is offline
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Follow up. The other four bottles here of the same "vintage" all smelled like dirty feet. So that one was a fluke? Wonder what could have caused it?
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  #15  
Old 01-10-2013, 10:47 PM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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It should be noted that even some of the best wine does not age well. Aged wine, in and of itself, is meaningless in terms of quality. Every wine has a 'best if drunk by" label, even if it's not an actual label. And only certain wines will stand up to the test of time. That is not to say that those wines are "better; just different.
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  #16  
Old 01-10-2013, 10:57 PM
Happy Lendervedder Happy Lendervedder is offline
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Forget wines-- I've got a bottle of Bartles & Jaymes "Apple Passion," vintage 1988, that I've been saving for a very special evening with my special lady since, well, 1988. Can anyone tell me if I should have 911 queued up on the cell? Or is this gonna be as awesome as I think it is?
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  #17  
Old 01-10-2013, 11:48 PM
zoid zoid is offline
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Not only don't most wines age well, but it's something of a crap shoot to see which ones will.

Basically you have to start with a good wine that at least has potential. Most wines can be given an estimation of the best time to drink. The majority will come with a recommendation to drink within 18 months. Some will have a recommendation to let them age a few years as they have some potential to improve.

A small percentage will have a recommendation for perhaps long term aging. This is where the crap shoot comes in, from time to time one gets tasted and it may live up to its potential, it may to fail to live up to it, or it may exceed it indicating that it may benefit from longer aging. At this point the initial recommendation can be adjusted.

Of course a lot of what I've said is personal experience so...

ETA - a lot of fantastically expensive wine will never be opened or drunk. Its value is historical. A bottle that sells for a million dollars because it was a from Napoleons’ private stock of rare vintages would probably taste like shit if you actually tried to drink it.

Last edited by zoid; 01-10-2013 at 11:52 PM..
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  #18  
Old 01-11-2013, 12:00 AM
Happy Scrappy Hero Pup Happy Scrappy Hero Pup is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Lendervedder View Post
Forget wines-- I've got a bottle of Bartles & Jaymes "Apple Passion," vintage 1988, that I've been saving for a very special evening with my special lady since, well, 1988. Can anyone tell me if I should have 911 queued up on the cell? Or is this gonna be as awesome as I think it is?
Regardless, thank you for your support.
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  #19  
Old 01-11-2013, 12:04 AM
tom e tom e is offline
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Yep. And please know that when I say that the one was better, that's a very LOW bar. I don't buy any wines that I would purposely age more than 1-2 years. And by far the most of them are bought to drink.

I just thought that the difference there was pretty astounding. Not because it turned a bad wine good, but just because it turned into something so different.

By now we've gone through the rest of them, or at least the rest of them that I wanted to open tonight. Almost everything that didn't have a footy stink was actually sour- gone to vinegar. But that one bottle had gone sweet (not sweet exactly, because where can more sugar come from?) but it sure tasted that way. Plum-like was the best way I can describe it. The bottle was coated with a dark substance on the inside (tannin?) and the wine was a red color with brown tinge through the light where you tilt it.

Wasn't anything that I would buy- I don't really go in for sweet tasting wines. But like I said it was definitely tastier (again low bar) than new 2 buck. Again the fact that the others were so bad though, shows it definitely isn't worth doing on purpose, must be a fluke.

On the plus side, I have 30 more bottles for when my apple wine and my blackberry wine get ready!

Cheers.
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  #20  
Old 01-11-2013, 10:07 AM
cjepson cjepson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom e View Post
Haha. Just had to join this forum because I just had a very unlikely experiment on this very topic. Googled and wound up here.

The Story:
Was having a party for an old friend and was talking in advance with friends about making "cheap" house drinks for those who didn't BYOB. We joked about making some 2 buck chuck sangria to serve. Anyway one of my friends offered some wine (about 30 bottles) that her mother gave to her- all at least ten years old. We were thinking we could pop them open and throw out anything really nasty, and use whatever was OK in the sangria. Well that experiment failed. After opening about 6 bottles that smelled just plain nasty (didn't even taste them) we gave up on that and bought a case of inexpensive red from the local wine shop. That sangria was awesome.

So today we are cleaning out the garage and came across the rest of those old bottles. We were thinking to open them up, dump them and save the bottles for some wine I'm making. First one? A 2000 Charles Shaw Cab. Opened it up and it didn't smell stinky or vinegerey. We laughed at the chances that this particular make would be among the best. Poured a little out and tasted- Odd. It's sweetened quite a bit, tastes really plum-like, sort of like a port without the heat. Don't get me wrong, I am not drinking the bottle (but I did fill my glass, haha), but I think I can honestly say it is BETTER than a new bottle of the same, or at least WAY more mellowed. Usually I can't really drink the stuff. Thought I had better answer here since nobody is likely to ever run this particular experiment again.

I actually had a similar experience -- a friend had an old bottle of low-quality wine that he'd kept on top of the refrigerator or something for years. It had that same port-like taste and was also rather brownish with a residue covering the inside of the bottle.
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