I found a bottle of wine in a basement closet.

In 1983 the wife and I took a trip to Michigan’s UP. Along the way we stopped at the St. Julian Winery in Paw Paw.

Well tonight I found a bottle that had been in the basement since then.

It’s a Vidal Blanc, 1982 vintage.

Should I open it, or list it on eBay?:smiley: Could be quite valuable, right? I mean it’s old, right? :dubious:

Any bets on whether it’s still drinkable?

Do you have passive/aggressive friends you really don’t like? Give it to them. It probly wasn’t good in 1983.

Please don’t hurt me by throwing dried grapes or wine twigs.:stuck_out_tongue:

You can’t sell it on eBay.


Drink it.

Report back here.

I suspect it’s not going to be all that good. Honestly, I’d just open it and give it a taste. Why not?

OK, I opened it and gave a taste.

The cork came apart during removal. No screw caps for me, no sir.

The color was a lot darker than I remembered and the taste wasn’t as sweet. It was supposed to be a sweet wine. I drank about 1 oz and dumped the rest down the drain.

Ignorance fought kind of.

A 29 year old white? If it isn’t Y’Quem, it’s garbage, as you discovered.

How was it stored ?

“Corked Wine” …http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cork_taint

I have to add that I am not a wine connoisseur, but I have drunk some corked wine before. I wish I had not done that. :wink:


A white wine isn’t going to age very well.

A red wine is only going to age well if it’s stored properly, on its side, and in cellar conditions, with controlled temperature and (I think) humidity.

“A white wine isn’t going to age very well.”

Well probably THAT white wine and even MOST white wines, and certainly NO wine will age well unless cellared adequately.

But I’ve got Clare Valley reislings and Goulburn Valley marsannes in the cellar from pre 90’s vintages that will drink exquisitely. Not sure I’ve ever had the patience to last 30 years.

The rule of thumb my dad taught me is that you can’t make a bad wine good by aging, but you can make a good wine better.

Of course, you can also make a good wine bad the same way, so it has to be intentional.


Only if the good wine is designed to be aged. Some very good wines are designed to be drunk right away; probably 98% of the wine sold in the US won’t benefit from aging.

if a wine has gone sour it can be a great vinegar. use it as is or maybe let it get stronger if wanted.

A Vidal Blanc (a white wine grape) from the upper-peninsula of Michigan is almost certainly going to be a dessert wine (and the OP recalls the wine as a sweet wine), which, if of good to great quality to begin with, unquestionable provenance and proper storage can most certainly age 30 years. There are many examples of this from German Riesling Beerenauslese and sweeter (riper) wines to Alsatian SGN wines to 4 or 5 puttyonyos Hungarian Tokaji wines to the aforementioned d’Yquem. Vintage champagnes can age for a long time too. The presumption that white wines cannot age (improve) is a myth.

But this wasn’t one of those wines!

American production of dessert wines from non-traditional wine growing areas has improved tremendously within the last few decades though. There are lots of good examples out there now.

I’m not a wine expert by any means, it’s obvious, right.

It didn’t taste bad when it was purchased, but it was a semi sweet wine. Sorry, it’s the kind we like. Here’s their website It did not taste like vinegar at all, just not right.

It may have been stored on it’s side part of the time, but was upright when I found it yesterday. The cork was somewhat dry and broke while I was trying to extract it. We probably paid $4 if that for it in 1983, so no great loss. But I was surprised to find it.

nm, just caught above post.

Don’t ever apologize for liking sweet wines, nor kowtow to anyone that would deign to sneer at you for doing so!

Some of the best wines in the world are sweet wines, with the levels of sweetness due to the presence of residual sugar varying widely.

The most important aspect of a good wine is balance of its components. A sweet wine with no balancing acidity or any other remarkable traits is inherently an inferior wine. This is the reason why I am so passionate about German rieslings, especially those from the Mosel area. The climate there allows the grapes to develop a wonderful zingy acidity that balances out the sugar in the wine beautifully…the slate-rich soils depart a smoky, wet-stone minerality to the finished product that is just captivating.

OK, I’ll shut up now…


No, do go on. :smiley:

I submit that is a very good young wine. But due to storage conditions it was comprimised. It could have been like honey if vinted properly.