I may already know the answer to this but just gotta ask,starting with how acquired....A good number of years ago (I figure almost 16 years)I was at a yard(estate) sale of a local community member that had passed ,when I came upon a wax sealed corked 5 gallon carboy full of what the new homeowner/distant relative of deceased thought was some sort of wine. Well I had some history of the deceased-He was in the local fire dept.to which my father belonged,The old fella used to supply all who wanted -some of the best pears ever to be eaten(grown just out behind this very house).....I put the two together and Voila--this was indeed pear wine made by the old gent. The carboy was in a cobbled together sort of crate(deteriorated) and had a price tag of $15.00 attached.
I couldn't resist the yard sale temptation-I haggled with the seller and got the jug and full contents for just over $8.00. The jug came home and was opened that evening to reveal the contents--Indeed it was pear wine-Some of the best tasting,KICK ASS pear wine ever to be consumed-in my opinion....Well my brother and I proceded to have a few really good drunks on this stuff-(No idea of wine age)and the jug was recorked and put back down in my basement only to be forgotten about....I stumbled across it tonight 03/15/07,I lifted the carboy from its resting spot found the cork (to my surprise) still intact,the contents have no mold or floating debris,there looks to be approx.2 gallons-the wine however does appear to have darkened(if this is possible ? ) I did not remove the cork yet but did smell the corked bottle opening and there is a very notable sweet/fruity/almost alcoholic fragrance coming from inside.
Without actually sampling the contents I suppose there is no way of actually telling if the wine is still palatable is there ? What is the general consensus as to what I should do ?
1) Dispose of the contents thus eliminating the risk of some sort of sickness ...
2) Open this baby up have the glass ready and taste away....
3) Wash and sanitize a batch of bottles to save and age this stuff for its enjoyment even further down the road-If it's even any good....I figure if the stuff is good now even more time could be better.
I'm sorry for the long rant but I'm kinda excited about this. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks in advance. Shane