Tears of Gettysburg

On July 1, 1863, the Union and Confederate forces met head to head outside of the small town of Gettysburg, PA and over the next 3 days, between 46,000 and 51,000 American people lost their lives in the bloodiest battle ever fought in the United States.

In July of 1988, Adams County Winery in Pennsylvania produced a 125th-year commemorative bottle of Red and White wine. Lisa was raised in a small town just outside of Gettysburg and her mom bought each of the 7 kids in the family a bottle of the red and white wines.

We stored these wines for 30 years in our wine cabinet and just a few days ago we pitched them as part of our house cleaning and purging of old stuff. We didn’t even dare to open the bottles because Lisa’s siblings reported that by year 10 the wine had already turned bad and was yet another casualty of Gettysburg.

It is a shame to think about how many lives have been lost due to conflict, I wish there were a better way….

It is also a shame on how many bottles of wine are lost due to old age. Did you know that about 97% of all wines are made to be drunk now and only a few wines are age worthy? There are two reasons for aging wine: 1 – because it is a collector’s item and 2 – because it is unapproachable now and needs time to mellow out.

Many people try to slip in #3 which is keep it for a special occasion – which unfortunately often doesn’t work out well. As a guideline, California white wines should be consumed within 3 years and reds 5 years. French white wines typically can be stored for 6 years and 10 years for reds. The worst feeling is when you save a bottle for that special occasion and it is past its prime when you pop the cork.

If you want to learn more about when to age a wine, come ask us at the winery and we will geek out on you. We can also tell you a foolproof way to know how long to store wine.