What Does A Bottle of White Wine From 1956 Taste Like?

One of the more unusual discoveries of this year’s trip to France was the above bottle of wine, of which there were two in my mother in law’s refrigerator.

No one was quite sure how they got there,  least of whom was my mother in law who at age 90 is growing more and more forgetful as she gets older.  Over lunch I shared them with two of my brother in-laws as well as numerous theories on how they got there.  Perhaps this was the last of their father’s extensive wine cellar that someone had discovered?  No one could come up with an answer.

Although we had low expectations, we were curious about the wine, as the Cote De Beaune is one of the premier white wine regions in France, although my brother-in-law (who is very Bordeaux oriented) thought they only grew reds.  Here is a link to the wiki on the area:


Getting the cork out was no easy matter.  They broke several times but showed no signs of mold or off colors.  Eventually, we decanted both bottles and poured.  The wine had the color of straw and no nose to speak of.  We served it chilled and raised the glasses and drank.  The verdict?  Not much.  There just wasn’t much left in the bottles, the great chardonnay tastes were long long gone.  It wasn’t vinegary either, it tasted like you were drinking an echo of a voice from long ago.  If you tried hard you could get just the slightest taste of fruit and then it was gone.

After the tasting we poured the bottles out.  There was no sense going further.

I loved the style of these old graphics, the use of color and the pronounced gallic rooster.  The bottles were beautiful, I only wish I could have tasted them closer to the time when they were made.  Then again I was only 2 when that happened.


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