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Old Bottle of Hooper's Port

April 23, 2012
Question by: Barrie, Liverpool, UK

Q:

I have a bottle of Hoopers reserve [V N Degaia Oporto] it's in a basket weave bottle with a seal which is unbroken, and is probably over 50 years old.  Should I drink it or save it?

A:

Hi Barrie,   Oddly enough someone in Australia just contacted us about a similar bottle - see our Q&A about an Old Bottle of Port, dated 19 April.  Hoopers is one of a half dozen brand names used over the past 50 years or more by Real Companhia Velha (as the firm is now known within Portugal).  A Port labeled as "Reserve" is typically a blend of young ports between 4 and 7 years old which have been aged in very large wooden casks to preserve the rich fruit character.  This style of Port is bottled ready for consumption, and never intended for ageing.  If your bottle has been stored throughout its life in very good conditions - a cool dark cellar - there is a chance it may still be drinkable - you will only know by trying it.



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