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oldest champagne

See under Oldest Wines.

The fact that wines improve with ageing is only reserved for certain types of wine with appropriate ageing. Another prerequisite is a tight seal without contact with oxygen. Such wines are characterised by an extremely long shelf life. In the course of bottle ageing, optimum drinking maturity is reached at some point, but even this does not last forever. This means that even long-lived wines will eventually pass their peak. Very old wines or vintages are a sought-after collector's item. They are often auctioned off at astronomical prices by auction houses such as Sotheby's and Christie's and are not necessarily purchased for the purpose of enjoyment. The oldest vintages are usually found among high-alcohol, fortified dessert wines such as Madeira, port and sherry.

älteste Weine - Flasche Malmsey 1880, 5 verschiedene Flaschen und schimmelüberzogene Flaschen

Exceptionally old wines that are still drinkable

There is written evidence that some very old wines were still drinkable. The oldest example is the famous "Opimian", a Falernian of the vintage 121 B.C. Pliny the Elder (23-79) wrote about the wine enjoyed a hundred years later that it had thickened to a kind of bitter honey, but was still recognisable as wine. A sweet Würzburger Stein vintage 1540 from Franconia was tasted in 1961. At 421 years old, it was probably the oldest wine that was still drinkable. A bottle of it is still stored in the cellar of the Bürgerspital. Another very old crescendo...

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Sigi Hiss
freier Autor und Weinberater (Fine, Vinum u.a.), Bad Krozingen

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