The Ultimate Guide to Vintage Wine

The Ultimate Guide to Vintage Wine

Ever seen yourself as a bit of a wine collector? Perhaps you want to impress your friends with your vintage wine collection? Whatever your reason for wanting to learn more about vintage wine, it’s an interesting (and delicious) subject. In this ultimate guide, I’ve put together everything you need to know about vintage wines. When to buy them, when to store them, and when to drink them. Most importantly.

What This Post Covers:

Red Wine

Let’s kick off with everyone’s favorite. Red wine is a collector’s dream, that can quickly turn into a nightmare. Knowing when to lay down your wine (posh speak for storing it away) and when to drink it, will ensure no mishaps at your next dinner party. Here are some of the most popular wines and years, to get you started.

  • Burgundy – If you have any bottles before 1988 bin them now. They’re past their best. Anything from 1988 until 2000 is well worth opening at your next dinner party. With 2005 being the best vintage full stop. Although you can still let it lay for another year or two if you own a bottle.
  • Rioja – Everyone loves a good Spanish Rioja. The recent batches are some of the best, so are well worth buying up and keeping hold of. Some of the nicest vintages can be found on sites such as – so, stock up and let them lay.  If you want something to drink right away then look for a 1994 bottle where possible. You can even go back as far as 1987 if you really want to show off.

White Wine

Now the sunshine is out, most people prefer to drink white as opposed to read. It goes down a treat with a barbecue! There have been some incredible years for some of our favorite whites. However, there have also been some pretty awful years. Here are some of the best wines and vintages for white wine.

  • Burgundy – The Cote D’Or version of the red, this white wine had one of its best years in 2010. If you can get hold of a bottle let it lay for another year or two. Anything from 1992 onward is pretty much ready to drink, so ditch any bottles before that year.
  • Chablis – This white wine seems to last the test of time a little longer than the Burgundy. If you have any bottles from 1990 then you’re in luck. From then on you’re fine up until 2004. Except for any batch from 1994, that’s already turned bad.


Want to stock up on some vintage port for Christmas? It may seem a million miles away, but it’s worth being prepared. Fortified wine lasts a lot longer than other bottles, which means you can go pretty far back without it going bad. Even bottles from 1983 could be stored for a little longer before being their best. One of the greatest vintages of the port was served up in 2010. Leave this in your wine rack for a while and it’ll be one Christmas drink to remember. Can’t wait that long? Find yourself a bottle from 1994, for a great vintage.

So, which vintage wines will you be stocking up on? You can keep up to date with what’s good (and what’s not) using a vintage wine chart. Check the bottles you already own and gauge when they’ll be at their very best.

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