1964 Chianti, a yard sale and a newspaper article


It’s been a dry week. I haven’t been able to go hunting for trash in the mornings because of the short temporary job I’m working but I also just haven’t found much when I have gone out.

I did come across this pile of trash somewhere in the Plateau, perhaps on Garnier north of Rachel. A woman sitting outside told me it was her neighbours (voisins) stuff. Apparently he called the Salvation Army to pick up the mattresses and a cool bookcase made of wine crates but they didn’t want it out of fear of bedbugs. A passerby took an interest in the bookcase and ended up carrying it home. Glad it didn’t go to waste!

Behind the mattresses in this picture I came across some old, oddly shaped bottles of chianti.


I took 5 bottles in all. The tall one on the right is in the best condition, with minimal (if any) evaporation. The other tall one has a taped-up top and looks to have evaporated a fair bit. The middle sized one leaks from the spout – it may have gotten slightly damaged as I moved it. The two little ones are sealed but one is clearly more evaporated than the other.



The best looking of the tall bottles is marked as “Vintage 1964.” All of the other bottles are from around that time too, with the latest being from 1971.

When I found a bottle of wine from 1982 a few months ago people seemed to think it would be fine, if not the best tasting (I still haven’t tried it, by the way!). However, does the same thing apply for a bottle from 1964?

The other, more evaporated bottles are probably best used as decoration, but I wonder if the better preserved bottles are good to drink.

Let me know what you think!

In other news, the Journal de Montreal (en francais!) did a little story on my trash blog. You can see it here. I’m happy with how it turned out, other than the video which is a horrible example of me trying to speak French! It’s probably not as bad as I think it is, but it’s definitely harder to speak a language you’re not super-comfortable with when you’re on camera for the first time. I think my main problem is that I get lost on certain words, so if I make a specific effort to learn those words I might be okay.

There should be an article for you Anglos soon as well – I’ll let you know when that comes out.

Also, my friends are having a yard sale tomorrow on the edge of the Park by rue Mont-Royal and Esplanade. If the park officials kick them off (seems unlikely but you never know) it would move somewhere near there. I won’t be there during the day, but I’m going to bring some stuff and sit with it from around 4-7PM. I won’t be able to be there earlier, unfortunately, due to my work schedule. Given the short amount of time I have I’m going to bring only a couple of things, and by that I mean my stack of old Cinemonde magazines, my pillowcase of jewelry (which smell a bit like cigarette smoke, which means discounts!), and some other bits of jewelry I’ve found. I may also bring my old newspapers (note that most of the ones that remain are Expo 67 related).

So yeah, if you’re into old magazines and jewelry come on by. I might have something for you.

12 thoughts on “1964 Chianti, a yard sale and a newspaper article”

  1. Congratulations on being the subject of the article in the Journal de Montreal.I read L’ARCHEOLOGUE DES POUBELLES and appreciated the article.I am hoping more Montrealers will follow your blog.The weather is beautiful now—-spring cleaning must be in full swing now.A lot of students will be leaving their apartments in May so a lot more good stuff might get thrown out.I hope The Gazette,Globe And Mail,CTV news and CBC News as well as American media outlets do a story about you.Congratulations again and please start visiting the student ghetto and other arondissements as well in May,without forgetting the Plateau/Mile End.

  2. I’m an Ontario anglo so your French sounded perfect in the video! LOL
    I did run the article through the google translator which worked pretty well.
    Congrats and hope your blog gets even more exposure.

    By the way in my area north of Toronto, garbage must be disposed of in clear bags from now on due to the city’s waste recycling program. I am excited about the possibilities of more finds because of this…

    1. Haha, glad it seemed okay. I like the clear bag idea, though my main trash-picking advantage would quickly disappear as well!

      1. Ah I never thought of it that way… maybe you are better off with your black bags then heh. I haven’t had a chance to curb hunt since the clear bags came into effect so can’t say yet whether it’s an advantage for good finds or not.

        How did the yard sale go? Did you sell any of your stuff?

  3. I love and admire wine crate bookcases.I do not have one yet,but I know an acquaintance who has one in his home.I am glad that that discarded wine crate bookcase was taken by someone;it should not have gone in the garbage.

  4. Last week on Wednesday morning Atwater library threw out more than 10 boxes of books.I searched and found a book by Will Durant,some old paperback novels and many history books.I ended up taking home 8 books.I do not have a digital camera otherwise I would have sent you pictures.Could you or some of your readers take pictures of discarded books at Atwater Library on Wednesday morning and post those pictures on your blog?Much thanks to you for your blog.

    1. Digital cameras are easy to find, I grabbed two this week at the Mcgill end of term move out extravaganza.

      The 6.1MP works fine, it even included a 1gig SD card. The Polaroid digital, apparently 14mp but no optical zoom, complete with a built in printer, the battery pack is missing and it looks damaged.

      But I’ve found three before, an Intel hybrid that’s both a webcam and a standalone digital camera, a Radio Shack camera aimed towards low end “moving pictures,a and a nice 5mp Olympus that’s quite small, except the battery is dead and to use it means spending money. It too included a 1gig memory card.

      Even at garage sales they should be appearing. The people who bought them early on, for quite a bit of money, by now want something better, so the low MP cameras are up for grabs. I had a hand me down 2mp camera for five years, it wsa fine for putting photos online. So a 5 or 6MP camera is fine, especially when cheap or free, it’s a chance to try out digital cameras.


  5. Bertolli is an Italian company (I am Italian) and now does mostly olive oil. I did not know they did wine too and I don’t think they make it any more. On an Italian website I found a list of old wines and a Bertolli chianti from 1966 goes for 20 euros (26 canadian dollars?) so I guess someone drinks it…(or just collects it!) I would not drink it, personally, but the bottles are good looking! 🙂

  6. I’m not sure if I’m too late or not, but you definitely shouldn’t drink the wine. Red wines can only last for 2-3 years. Some can last a little longer, but maybe 1% of them and in perfect cellar conditions. The majority of wines have a shelf life of about 3 years. Wines that are still in the barrel, that haven’t been bottled yet can last for a much longer period of time. Also, it’s a misconception that older wine taste better, or at least a subjective opinion.

    1. I haven’t opened it yet. I think I’ll try it just for kicks. You’re right though, it’s probably pure vinegar by now

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