Q. Is there a difference in how long champagne lasts and is stored than regular wine?
A. It would depend on if the Champagne is vintage dated (you can check vintage charts for an estimate on how well it is holding up) or a non vintage.
It should be stored in the same manner as wine; in a cool dark place on its side.
If you are talking about a lower priced sparkling wine they are not meant to last very long. Also, the smaller bottles (187ml and 375ml bottles) do not age well at all.
Q. I have a very old bottle of Port. I never want to serve it in case it isn't good anymore - but I don't want to test it and waste it in case it is. How can I tell?
A. The good thing about port it is meant to be drunk aged. If you have kept it away from direct sunlight it should still be good. (If you tell me more about it we can check the vintage charts to see how it is still doing.)
Older port normally should be decanted. Depending on its age, you will get sediment. It is meant to be served in small glasses so you only have a little at a time.
Serve it with some stilton cheese and nuts as an after dinner beverage.
Q. What can I do with a bottle of wine that is opened, but not finished?
Can I re-cap and save or is it ruined?
A. I recommend a product called "Private Reserve" and it may be found in better wine stores in the area.
It is a gas and you spray it in (follow directions on the can) and immediately put the cork back on. It should help your wine last for at least a week.
If you enjoy wine but don't always want to open a big bottle, a number of wineries are putting more of their wine in a half bottle (375ml size). They are a little bit more expensive, but worth it.
If you happen to find an open bottle of wine in the back of the refrigerator or in a cupboard, throw it out without opening it. To avoid having leftover wine-invite a friend or two over to enjoy it with you!