Penfolds says, “Stick a [new] cork in it!”

First things first – lesson learned: when taking video with an iPhone, turn the darned contraption sideways to get a widescreen perspective.

Other than that, this video of Penfolds chief winemaker Peter Gago conducting a recorking clinic in Washington DC is actually pretty interesting from a wine-geek POV. It’s long – about 15 minutes – but Gago conducts an impromptu wine clinic that should be of interest to anyone who has a special bottle hidden under the staircase. He discusses how to assess wines before and after opening and tasting them, as well as the importance of proper storage. And he describes the benefits of having your wine recorked and certified by a winemaker as tasting like it should in its current level of development, especially if you hope to resell it at auction. This video forms the basis for my wine column this week in The Washington Post.

The wine I saw recorked was a child – a 1996 Grange, barely eligible for the recorking clinic. My thanks go out to Jay Ducharme and his family for letting me share in their experience. (Penfolds sends winemakers around the world each year to assess, certify and recork red wines aged 15 years or more. They recork up to about 1,000 bottles a year. They did 20 that day in D.C., with the oldest being a 1977.)

And while I’m not likely to be at the wedding of Ducharme’s daughter, when he plans to enjoy the ’96 Grange, I do trust it will be a happy occasion.

About Dave McIntyre

Wine columnist for The Washington Post, co-founder of, and blogger at Dave McIntyre's WineLine (
This entry was posted in Australia, Washington Post, Weblogs, Wine. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Penfolds says, “Stick a [new] cork in it!”

  1. robert e greeley says:

    I would like to know the Penfold Grange travel schedule. Are they coming to San Francisco. If so when. Thanks, Bob Greeley

  2. Pingback: Book review: Eric Miller’s “The Vintner’s Apprentice” | Dave McIntyre's WineLine

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