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Wine Society drinking windows


This was suggested as a topic by Steve Slatcher in another thread.

I’ll start off a question. Does TWS revisit and amend these drinking windows as the wine ages or are they fixed from when the wine first appears on the website?


I will add an even more specific question. Are the drinking windows of wines sold en primeur, which never make it to the list, ever revisited.


I do recall receiving an email a few years ago, informing that the drinking window for one of my vintage cellar plan wines had been reviewed and amended.


I guess they can only be reassessed if the wine is re tasted and this would only be if the wine were reoffered. Say if it appears EP then again when drinking. Ie held back inTWS cellars.

Does somebody re-taste wine that stays on the list? I guess most wines pass through quickly, but for those which stick around a year or two I don’t know.

Where I have a problem with the drinking windows is they often suggest earlier ends to the drinking window than I like and miss off a whole chunk at the end when often a wine is at its most interesting.


Reading this I’m smiling and thinking of white Burgundy.

Out of drinking window. In a drinking window. Out of a drinking window. Back into a drinking window. (presumably by sneaking down the side ). It’s all a bit okey cokey -ish.



I thought it was mainly red burgundy so that’s interesting

The problem of Wines shutting down seems difficult to deal with by drinking dates. From what I’ve read it’s almost impossible to predict. Certainly some very expensive burgundy can suffer which can be a waste


I’m pretty confused by drinking windows I must confess.

I’ve heard several people say the Society end dates verge on the young side.

On the other hand, I just noticed Decanter seem to verger even younger. Two Rhone 2016s I have half an eye on.

  • Saint-Joseph Clos de Cuminaille, Domaine Gaillard The Society’s drink dates: 2020 - 2029, Decanters: 2018 - 2022 (7 year’s younger!)
  • Saint-Joseph Les Royes Rouge, Domaine Courbis Society 2021 - 2027; Decanter 2018 - 2023

I understand that this is not an exact science, but can anyone explain why these dates are so extremely different?


Really don’t think you can hang your hat on either set of dates. Just finger in the wind stuff.

My guess is that the start dates are too early and the finish too late. Thats a personal preference thing.

Both are good wines and relatively early drinkers IMO


With wines that have the ability to age, its down to how a person enjoys a wine - you can drink a wine as soon as it arrives if you wanted but usually rewarded after a couple of years in bottle, as for an end date, that should be only a general guide as to the aging potential of a wine as wines usually gradually fade rather than a sudden cutoff.

Its one of the reasons why I do buy EP as I can open a bottle of wine each year and see how that wine is changing which is part of the excitement - it also means that you can work out when you want to drink a certain wine as you can gauge when the wine is as its best for your own personal tastes.


Thanks Mitch, yes it is also one of the reasons I’ve really enjoyed starting to buy wine EP and in cases - to taste how it changes over the years, and to learn which I like best.

I will ‘bid’ for these wines in the EP wine and, if successful, find out for myself how old I like it. Whether I’ll have the restraint to hold any back until 2029 is another matter!


Worth checking out Cellar tracker app if you haven’t got it - there is a really useful option for ‘drinkability’ where is shows a sort of ‘run rate’ of bottles of wine - tell it what wine you have any how many bottles and it will work out at any given point how many bottles are ready to be drunk so its evenly spaced through the drink dates.


Thanks Mitch. I recently got Cellar tracker and been finding it really useful to see how others experience wines at different times - but I didn’t know about the drinkabilty feature so I will check that out next time I’m on there. Sounds like a really useful planning tool.


If you use the app it’s called ‘ready to drink’ in the reports section.


If you login on desktop there are also options for different drinkability formulas - also things like bottles per year, worth looking into :slight_smile:


Lay & Wheeler’s windows are even earlier. I have some 2009 Nuits St Georges 1er Crus bought from them EP. Their recommended drinking dates for the wine are 2013-2018. I had a bottle in 2014 and it was way too early, the bottle opened on Saturday I’d say is just starting to get somewhere.