From time to time I’m asked by friends, but usually strangers, to size up their wine cellars or a wine collection they inherited. Most of the time I pass, with a polite no thanks, but here's some good advice: open the wines and give them a try. You might be surprised.
Most of the time, most of the wines I’ve looked at are duds and often not worth opening. Many times people have simply ignored what would otherwise be good wines, usually because they’ve lost track of what’s in their cellar.
Not this time. When my son brought home a list of wines from a friend and his wife, it had some extraordinary bottles. How about singles of 1982 Mouton and Pétrus, Vintage Ports from Cockburn (1963) and Taylor (1970) and doubles of 1988 Lafite-Rothschild, 1986 Mouton and a 1980 Dunn Howell Mountain. Red and white Burgundies and Barolos were also part of the mix.
The young couple who inherited the collection haven't relayed any information about whether they have tried the wines. (Naturally I offered to help inspect them by taste.)
Most of the wines were probably dead soldiers, unless they had been perfectly stored. The Ports should be fine and the Bordeaux should be fine, too. I suggested the couple look up the cost online and guessed the Pétrus might be worth a few grand. Just looked it up now, and in third quarter 2008 I could have bought one for about $4,000!
In today's auction market, it might not be worth quite as much, but now that I think of it, selling the best wines might be a good idea. Unless the wines are already gone.
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions