ASK OUR EXPERT – Your questions answered

Wine Bottle

Wondering how long you can keep an open bottle of wine before it goes bad or why there is a dent in the bottom of a wine bottle? International consultant and winemaker, Dr Ariff Jamal answers all your questions about wine, big and small

I am wondering what the value of the label is on a collectable wine as part of the entire value. For example a 1947 Château Lafite Rothschild with a perfect label versus an imperfect (damaged) label. assuming that the wine has been properly stored and maintained in both cases. Dennis DiCarlo, Toronto, Canada
The condition of the label is often taken into consideration in determining a wine’s value. The label is considered ‘excellent’ only if it has a slight, nearly unnoticeable deficiency. On the other hand, if labels have been affected by movement while in their original case then these wines lose in value as the label is considered scuffed. Damaged labels can be lifted up or pushed back from their original position or if a noticeable rip is perceived, the damage affects the final value of the bottle. The most common flaw which leads to the devaluation of a collector’s bottle is when the label has writing on it that was not originally placed there by the producer or when the wine is stored in humid conditions over a long period of time and the label becomes mouldy, which then can also have a direct consequence on the condition of the wine itself.

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