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This blog site includes news on latest wines, food, events, offers and happenings at artisan & vine. It also includes stories of my wine adventures in and outside the bar, wine facts and wine profiles.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Wine Facts: How Wine Ages

Not all wine improves with age. Some wine is more alcoholic vinegar than wine within years of bottling. How can you know which wines will improve with age and which will collapse?

In general, wines that are designed to be enjoyed for freshness and youthful fruitiness should be drunk young. Include within this category most white and rose wines and any lighter style reds, Beaujolais for example. These are wines whose fresh fruit flavours are likely to die within 2-4 years of bottling and which do not have the tannins or structure within the bottle to develop further.

Wines that taste better with aging are wines where a more complex combination of acids, sugars, minerals, pigments, tannins and flavour compounds need longer to integrate. High quality reds and whites will fall into this category.

As a general - if crude - rule, the more expensive a wine is, the more likely it is to improve with age.

The unlucky truth is that even the wine maker cannot know when exactly is the best time to drink any one wine. The best we can do is ask the person selling us a wine; they should know the story of a given wine in their shop and should taste it regularly enough to know it’s current condition.
Image: I asked Olivier from Domaine D’Arlot in Burgundy when I should drink some of his aging Pinot Noirs. He told me to call him when I was ready to open the bottle and he would let me know if it was ok or not. It’s all that exact :)

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