Last week, I wrote This is not a Rosé, about the surprising vitality of that 1982 Hitching Post with the bad cork. And I said you can’t always judge a wine’s quality by the color. Well, while we were on the East Coast, we discovered some forgotten bottles of white wine. We thought that there was no chance in hell that a bottle of 1990 Mouton-Cadet blanc (Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon) and 1994 Georges Duboeuf Viognier, both from France could be good … and this time, we were right.


Now these two bottles of inexpensive bulk wine have no business being a year old, much less 17. They’re the kind of wine that you drink right away. However, we were surprised to find that their colors had not deteriorated into a dark brown, beer-like haze as often happens to white wines when they age. Furthermore, both wines had aromatic traces of what they once were. But in the mouth they were dead, flat and, to me, undrinkable.