Barolo 1969

Barolo 1969

For the Greek God(zilla)’s 40th birthday, his sister, BB, gifted him a bottle of Barolo from the year he was born – 1969.

For two years we carefully stored and protected this bottle, waiting for an occasion deemed special enough for the Greek God(zilla) to warrant opening it.  During this time we have got married, moved house and celebrated our son’s first and second birthdays, yet the 1969 Barolo has remained in its box, gathering layer upon layer of dust under the stairs.

I have decided not to read too much into this.

On Saturday night, BB and I finally convinced the Greek God(zilla) that we should drink the Barolo.  Reluctantly, he gave in agreed.

We’d organised a Steak/Off (more on this in the next post) and invited BB, Rob, Eva and Keri over for a steak and sjoelen night.

With all the preparations for dinner under way, all that was left to do was to decant the wine.

I dusted it down.  We made quite a ceremony of its grand opening.  We made the Greek God(zilla) pose for photos with it.

We all stood around the table, watching.  We had waited two years for this moment.

The Greek God(zilla) twisted the corkscrew in, slowly eased it up and half of the cork crumbled in his hand.   The other half was stuck in the neck of the bottle.  This was not a good sign.  A second attempt managed to pull the rest of the cork out.

Maybe it was just an old cork, we shrugged hopefully.

The Greek God(zilla) lifted the bottle up to his nose, took in a deep sniff and then recoiled back almost immediately.

The wine smelt like the homemade stuff that YiaYia keeps under her kitchen sink in Crete, which is basically pure brandy with a couple of grapes squished in.

On pouring the wine, we realised that it had the consistency of weak ribena.

So, definitely CORKED then.


So, the 1969 Barolo has been moved to its new hiding place – in a cupboard with the other condiments.  We thought that maybe we could use it instead of vinegar one day?!

Meanwhile, BB is on the case trying to get a replacement bottle.  My vote is to open it and drink it right away…

What would you do?


  1. November 1, 2011 / 7:38 AM

    What a shame. Not sure if I’d want to put it on my fish and chips! Great post – thanks

    • Grenglish
      November 1, 2011 / 11:25 AM

      thank you! I am not sure I would want it on my fish & chips either but it feels so wrong to pour down the sink… 😉

  2. sarahderrig
    November 1, 2011 / 8:19 AM

    Matt’s Mum bought a bottle of chachampage the year that he was born and stored it away for a special ocassion. They opened it the night he graduated with his Masters Degree, 30 years later. We all stood around waiting to take a sip of what I thought was going to be the greatest French champage ever to be tasted….it was like drinking fizzy toilet water!

    • Grenglish
      November 1, 2011 / 11:26 AM

      Oh no, what an anti-climax! After all that time as well. Did everyone agree?

  3. Maria Pylas
    November 1, 2011 / 8:25 AM

    I’ve forwarded your blog to the wine company. Let’s see what they say. Xxx

    • Grenglish
      November 1, 2011 / 11:27 AM

      haha, funny! I feel another blog post coming on already… 😉

  4. November 1, 2011 / 8:56 AM

    We recently drank a lovely bottle of 1982 something (older than me!) with some lovely friends of ours. We were all very very ill… when you think about it the whole idea of drinking liquid older than you is a bit odd. Would definitely do it again though (and when E was born we had a very pleasant experience with a bottle of 2000 Dom Perignon).

    • Grenglish
      November 1, 2011 / 11:29 AM

      Now a 2000 Dom Perignon I think I could have a very pleasant experience with too!

      You were born in the 80s! Now, I feel very very old. Although not as old as the barolo (or my husband) 😉 xx

  5. November 1, 2011 / 7:04 PM

    Oh No! What a shame! And now I’m worried. My husband’s brother bought us a special bottle of champagne when we got married (can’t remember what was special about it but it cost over a hundred bucks which was a lot of money to us at the time) and we’ve done the same thing as you, bought houses, had babies, moved countries, etc and nothing has warranted us opening it. Now I’m thinking it might be best to leave it in its special box forever! Great post!

    • Grenglish
      November 3, 2011 / 2:18 PM

      Nooooo you can’t leave it in the box! I say crack it open and polish off the bottle just the two of you 🙂

  6. November 3, 2011 / 1:53 PM

    I’m not a wine fan but feel your pain! How annoying. See, this is why I drink vodka!

    • Grenglish
      November 3, 2011 / 2:15 PM

      I used to be all about the vodka too but it makes me do handstands and karaoke so I have had to limit my intake when out in public 🙂

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