Should I Lay Down Expensive Wine?

wine questions and queries

Wine Questions Answered

By Paul Howard

bottle of wine laid on side leedsQ: A friend of mine insists on ‘laying down’ his more expensive wines – is he just showing off? Does this procedure really enhance the wine’s taste?
Erica, via email.

A: It all depends on which specific wines are chosen. Laying Down refers to holding a wine to undergo further bottle ageing. It is necessary for some red and white wines because they are deliberately made to improve in bottle over many years and won’t taste as they should if opened young. These can be expensive but it is the style of wine rather than price that is the deciding factor. Meanwhile, the vast majority of wines are made for immediate consumption and for these laying down will have no beneficial effect.

corkscrew leeds harrogateQ: My Gran has a bottle of Cuvée Dom Perignon which she’s had since 1982! Would it be drinkable if we opened it?
Sheri Hall, Barnoldswick.

A: Vintage Champagne really benefits from laying down and Moët & Chandon’s finest is no exception – with 1982 also being an exceptional vintage. If it has been kept in good condition then it should be drinking perfectly and it will last for years yet. It’s probably worth around £200, so drink it to celebrate something very special.


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