Ask the Wino

Posted by Keith Wallace

Dear Wino,

I’m writing about a bottle of 1999 Chateau Lafitte Rothschild we have.  In the past, we have had wines that we drank before they peaked and other wines we drank after they peaked.

It didn’t happen often but we would kick ourselves when it did happen. So I come to you, oh great wine guru, to see if you might have an idea as to when our 1999 Chateau Lafitte Rothschild might peak.  It’s been stored in a stone basement that stays pretty close to published ideal temperature and humidity.  Any help is appreciated.


Hey Laffy,

I am hesitant to give you a time frame. For one, no one has perfect storage -I have seen people with real wine cellars still store their wines incorrectly- so it is very likely that your wine won’t age as well as it would in a perfect year. Also, 99 was a rather poor year and not one that ages particularly well…. for a Lafite.

That said, it’s a kick-ass bottle of wine –one of the best. In a perfect world, that wine would come of age just about now and mature for another twenty years. Realistically, I would drink it within the next two-five years.

Also, be prepared for the worst.  The longer you hold a bottle, the greater the chance of spoilage. Make sure to have a backup bottle in case your beloved wine turns to poop in the glass. What time do you want me over? You can also check out our wine reviews here.


11 thoughts on “Ask the Wino”

  1. I bought several boxes of 2015/2017 Georgian Doqi Kvanchkara from a local distributer as my wedding wine and it has grown to be our absolute favorite wine. We are at this point running low but unfortunately I have been unable to find anymore.

    Could you please recommend several wines that best mimic this wine? I am desperate because even though my wife is not a wine drinker, she has grown to love and cherish this wine.

    Thank you so much for your help.

  2. Hello,

    Two weeks ago I took the foundation exam and have just taken the intermediate exam. It shows that I have to complete the foundation, is because I didn’t pass??

  3. Dear Wino,

    I was given a bottle of wine as a gift and I cannot find any information on it after hours of Google searching. Would it be rude to take the bottle into a restaurant and ask the sommelier? Not sure if that is taboo if I don’t plan on opening the bottle while there. It’s a “Caffe Fiaschetteria 1888” Brunello di Montalcino, Vendemmia 2004.

    Thanks for taking the time, any advice helps!

    • That’s the house wine of a little cafe in Tuscany. CaffĂ© Fiaschetteria 1888 is a decent joint in Montalcino. Was there when I worked in the region. The wine is okay, nothing great. Pretty simple and fruit forward. If it’s older than 5 years old, it’s past it’s peak. I’d value it around $15 USD.

  4. This may be hard for you to believe, but some of us prefer speaking to a real live person. I’m one of those! Realizing that you don’t want to have to pay someone to answer questions, couldn’t you have an answering machine and call folks at your leisure?

    I have had a gift certificate and have been trying to use it since May 2015! Mostly, my own fault. I’m not fast enough signing up when I see a course i might enjoy.

    I’m not sure how to use my g.c to sign up for Sept 26, 6:30 cooking course. There will be 2 of us. Could i hope that you might call me so i can finally finalize things. Be still my heart!


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