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Jul 15, 2007 03:31 PM

Really old Dom Perignon... ok to drink?

My neighbor just gave me a bottle of 1978 Dom Perignon which has been sitting in his house all that time. He said the only time they drank it was in 1985... one bottle out of a whole case. Since last summer the case has been stored in storage facility while his home was undergoing renovations, so I would think there were some major temperature changes. Will it be ok to drink? I should be able to tell by smell, right? Assuming it's ok to drink, what should we expect? I ask because although we like wine I've only ever had anything of recent vintage. Thanks!

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  1. Should be superb. But even if it's not, no known human pathogen can live in wine, so taste it! The worst case scenario is that you won't like it.

    Aged Champange will be more golden in hue, and less effervescent. But what the wine loses in freshness, it gains in depth and complexity.


    1 Reply
    1. re: zin1953

      Oh, I agree. It should be superb. Aged champagne has golden beauty about it. The flavors have far more heft than in younger Champagne, and so they can take on more power in food: roast veal and roast fowl.

    2. If it smells like vinegar, make salad dressing. Otherwise, it may remind you of your maiden aunt, the one who spent some time in Paris back in the day: a bit faded, but who still has a little sparkle.

      2 Replies
      1. re: whs


        Well stated. I really like the analogy!


        1. re: Bill Hunt

          Thanks to all! Now I'm very excited to open this bottle. I was going to wait for a special occasion, but I'm thinking the sooner the better! I'll let you know, in my very amateur way, how it was.

      2. Send the bottle to me and after i'm done testing it i'll send it back.My results might be that it somehow transformed into a wine tasting like Thunderbird or MD 20/20.

        1. Nothing like beautiful old champagne.. Sounds like heaven.

          1. Seriously, the worst that is likely to happen is that you have some really really excellent wine vinegar.

            I'd bet that you have something really special however. Enjoy!

            I was at Antoines one night when someone ordered a bottle of wine that had been from Napoleon's time (not guaranteed by the restaurant, over 100 years old). It was in fact, vinegar. It was carefully recorked and taken home to be used for cooking. The new owner of the bottle said "wow, think of the marinades...".

            1 Reply
            1. re: fussycouple

              I drank a bottle of 1975 Pol Roger 'Winston Churchill' about a year ago and found it superb and still not tiring. 'Dom' being in the same 'league' should be the same. Enjoy!!