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Jan 19, 2013 07:54 PM

What to Drink First?

I recently won a lot of bottles of wine. After giving many away I have about fifty left. They're pretty much all from the $20-30 range, a mix of red and white, corks, screw tops, etc. I won't bother typing out every one. I'm not a big wine person at all (unless you include the years I lived in Italy and polished off an entire bottle of Moscato d'Asti every night) so even with some wine-tasting parties with my friends it's going to take a long time to get through them all. Probably three years or so. Is there anything I should be especially aware of that might need to be consumed first? Anything I should deliberately leave for later?

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  1. Depends. I doubt if you got anything that can't be opened now. How do you consume wine? Is it a tastier option to beer?, Do you drink wine at meals or by itself? The Moscato is light, sweet and fresh, so check if you have any Rieslings. They may not be sweet but will likely please your palate.
    Grab a bottle a week and cook a meal that go well with it. Have fun and open a bottle with take out food!
    Mostly enjoy. And don't feel bad if you hate something you open. Give it a glass and a sip. then check the next day. If you still don't like, make vinegar or dump.

    1. Jetgirl, you're going to have to be more specific with what varietals and vintage years are represented in your 50 bottles...

      1. Well, without knowing what they are . . . .

        For example, you could hang onto some Chardonnays until they are ten years of age, while others should be consumed within the first year or two . . . the same thing is true for Cabernet Sauvignon -- some are better today; others, better with a decade or more of age.

        1. Assuming these wines are all of a fairly recent vintage, say 2009-10-11, it is unlikely it will make much of a difference whether you drink them 1, 2 or 3 years from now. That is obviously a generalization, but I suspect it will be the case for most of the wines in your "collection."

          As a rule of thumb, I would simply pick a red or white wine as appropriate and select your the oldest wine of that type.

          1. 1. If you have the patience to enter your bottles, try cellartracker.

            2. Order your wines by vintage.

            3. Without knowing the specific wine, rules are extremely difficult. Below are horrible generalizations.

            4. Drink whites from the same vintage before reds.

            5. The higher quality the wine the longer it will last. Cheap quaffer wines are meant to be drank very close to release date.

            6. MOST wines in the $20-30 range aren't built for longevity. Better to drink early and aerate/decant the ones that seem harsh.