Perfect Pairings From 1988 Using The Vinous Vintage Chart

In 1988, Eddie Murphy's Prince Akeem came to America to find his bride in Queens, New York; Tom Hanks grew up fast in Big; Bruce Willis saved Christmas in Die Hard; and Beetlejuice was just plain bizarre. Those aren't the only classics created that year that have stood the test of time. Though somewhat under the radar, 1988 was a year in many regions for cellar worthy wines that are still drinking beautifully thirty years on. The Vinous Vintage Chart enables you to see which regions performed best in each year. For anyone planning a legendary 30th birthday bash, or an absurdly lavish celebration of three decades of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito's classic comedy Twins, here we present our perfectly curated dinner pairings of 1988s. Whet the appetite with a glass of Champagne: "One of the truly great vintages of the last fifty years, 1988 developed under nearly perfect conditions. Even and quick flowering, with little coulure or millerandage let to a mid-September harvest. At harvest, the balance of sugars and acidities was textbook, even if the perception is of a high acid, crystalline vintage. The best 1988s will continue to drink well for many years. (97 points - Drink or Hold)" Pair with first course with an aged white wine from Alsace: "The first of a glorious set of three vintages in a row, 1988 is characterized by the most austere, mineral set of wines of the 1988-89-90 trio. The heavy rains that fell just prior to the harvest (as much as 50 mm all at once just before picking started) reduced concentration levels, but overall the 1988s (especially Riesling and Pinot Gris) are remarkably elegant, balanced wines with great aging potential. Alsatian wine lovers know to look for those wines made from grapes grown on well draining, cooler grand crus. (94 points - Drink or Hold)" Move on to Chianti Classico from Italy "A vintage of majestic, towering wines the best of which remain vibrant and full of life. Poor weather during flowering lowered yields. The summer was quite dry. September and October saw ideal conditions of sun and warmth through to the harvest. The 1988s are still gorgeous today, while the best examples are simply stunning. (97 points - Drink)" And finish with a glass of sweet white wine from Bordeaux: "A hot summer followed by a stormy September, but a prolonged Indian Summer caused an outbreak of noble rot and allowed for easy picking in the vineyards. The 1988 Sauternes and Barsacs are less showy than the 1989s and less opulent than the 1990s, but have better balance and more graceful personalities. They are also aging much more gracefully than the 1989s or 1990s. (98 points - Drink or Hold)"

Château Climens

Barsac 1er Cru Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend 1988

Perfect accompaniment for a peach and ginger upside down cake for dessert. Lovely vanilla and peach notes. Showing just beautifully at 30 years of age. — 5 years ago

Paul, Shay and 29 others liked this
Ron R

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@Eric LaMasters what did you pair this lovely juice with? Thanks 😊

Azienda Agricola Fontodi

Vigna del Sorbo Riserva Chianti Classico Sangiovese Blend 1988

Phenomenal. A little reticent on the nose for about 90 minutes but incredible palate out of the gate. Thought it would be good but this went above and beyond — 6 years ago

Alberto and Serge liked this

Fattoria di Fèlsina Berardenga

Riserva Rancia Chianti Classico Sangiovese Blend 1988

Wow, what a surprise! Decided to open an old Chianti Riserva that I purchased on release aprox 25 yrs ago to serve with a pizza. This had almost a black color, very rich, powerful and structured with great acidity drinking so much younger than its 88 vintage. — 7 years ago

Weijie, Adam and 5 others liked this

Château Rieussec

Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend 1988

Tried end of bottle , still fresh fruit acidity ...beautiful apricot layered w honey probably best dessert wine I’ve had — 5 years ago

Severn, Shay and 1 other liked this


Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne Chardonnay 1988

I love the 88 usually score it between 95 and 97! Serious bubbles in the secondary phase of life . — 5 years ago

Conrad, Larry and 7 others liked this
jesus g

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Had this with seared scallops a couple months ago. It truly was breathtaking


Clos Ste. Hune Alsace Riesling 1988

Last of the case? Truly one of the great Rieslings of the world. — 7 years ago

Severn, Shay and 3 others liked this

Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin

Rare Vintage Brut Champagne Blend 1988

Peachy gold. Debate about this. Apricots, brioche. Some mustiness. Oxidative notes but lovely balance. Mellow and beautiful with delicate acid. I think this is beautiful... others think it’s fading. — 5 years ago

with MICHAEL and Larry
Eric, Kimberly and 12 others liked this

Ernest Preiss

Vendanges Tardives Alsace Riesling 1988

The longevity and complexity of Riesling Vendanges Tardives always amazes me.
An off dry, golden coloured wine with a nose full of stewed apple, honey, the taste is exquisite and complex and somehow never ending. A dream combination with Tarte tatin..
— 5 years ago