Tag: aging wine

Aging Wine

August 2, 2016 0 Comments

Wine rack - aging wineWine is a complex substance. Open a bottle of it now, and it may taste fine. Open a bottle of the same wine several years from now, and the wine becomes something else entirely. Rough edges in the flavor will have smoothed out and the overall flavor of the wine will be more balanced and mellow.

Why age wine?

Well, as stated above, the many components of the wine will mellow out over time, and bring a harmonious balance to the flavor of the wine. The tannins, present in red wine, bring a bitter and astringent flavor. Given time, the tannins help to age the wine. As wine ages, the tannins precipitate out of the wine, leaving a smoother and more mellow flavor. As the wine ages, the acids will lose a bit of their bite, allowing the fruit to come out more. As the components of the wine age, they also bring more complexity to the flavor. What you end up with after several years of proper aging is a complex and balanced wine.

What wines should be aged?

There are certain guidelines as to what wines should and should not be aged, but they are simply guidelines, not hard and fast rules. Most wines from California are meant to be consumed immediately, and should not be aged. Most white wines should not be aged, as they have a lower amount of tannins than red wine. It is the tannins that are present in red wine that allow the wine to age well. There are a few white wines, however that will improve with a couple of years of aging. Most wines under $25 don’t need to be aged. Many French wines are meant to age and mature over several years. There are exceptions to these rules. Go into a wine shop, and ask which wines they would recommend for aging. They can recommend several good wines, along with some ideas of how long to age the wine.

How do I age wine?

Proper storage is essential for a wine to age well. Cooler temperatures slow down the aging process, allowing time for the complexity of the wine to develop. The wine should be stored at a constant temperature of 50-60 degrees F. Fluctuating temperatures will cause the wine and the cork to expand and contract, loosening the cork, and exposing the wine to oxygen. The wine should be stored on it’s side, so that the wine is in contact with the cork, preventing it from drying out. The storage area should be dark, and have plenty of moisture to keep the cork from drying, which may loosen it, and subject the wine to oxidation.

Once you have a proper storage area for your wine, go to your local wine shop, and get their recommendations on a good aging wine. Buy a case of wine, and then open up one of the bottles when you get home and taste it. Put the rest of the bottles in storage, and start opening them after a couple of years, and note how the flavors and the complexity of the wine have changed. A new bottle of wine may be good, but a properly aged bottle is even better.


Best Wine Storage Practices

May 15, 2013 0 Comments

How to Properly Store Wine

For those that are new to the great taste of wine and the health benefits wine can provide, or those that have been drinking and savoring wine for years and now want to start collecting and aging wine but don’t know how to properly store that bottle of expensive wine, I will give you tips so you can maintain and improve the taste of your wine.  These are some of the factors you need to consider.Wine Storage

Cleanliness and proper ventilation

It is very important that you store your wine in a clean area with plenty of ventilation.  Poor ventilation will affect the taste and how the wine ages.  A poorly ventilated area with variations in temperature can ruin a great wine.  Keep the area clean and dusted, this will keep the label in good condition if you decide to sell the wine at a later date.  A poorly cared for label can also affect its resale value.

Lighting

Be sure the wine is stored in an area away from bright light, it is best to store the wine where light is at a minimum.  Light can, over many years can affect the wine’s taste, especially if the wine is exposed to sunlight and the Sun’s ultra violet light.  Sunlight can also fade the label.

Angle of the bottle

Always store wine in a horizontal position.  This allows the wine to stay in contact with the cork and keep the cork from drying out and shrinking thereby allowing air into the bottle and ruining the wine.  If you are buying the wine by the case, remove the wine from the box and store it on a nice wine rack.

Vibration

Store wine in a vibration free environment.  Shaking wine has the potential of speeding up the chemical process of aging.  You usually only have to be concerned about this if you are planning to store wines for long periods of time.

Humidity

A humidity level between 65 and 75% is perfect for storing wine.  If you live is a low humidity area, you can leave a pan of water in room or get a humidifier.  Humidity that is too low for a long period of time has the potential to dry out the cork and let air into the bottle.  If your humidity is higher than 75% on a regular basis, then you might consider a dehumidifier.

Temperature

The optimum temperature for aging wine is between 50 and 60 degrees, give or take.  Optimally 55 F is perfect.  A temperature too low can slow down the natural aging process and a temperature too high will speed it up.  The temperature should not vary much more than 5F to 10F within the optimal temperature range year around.

The best advice is to try to find a healthy balance with all of the wine storage tips outlined in this article.  This will help you maintain your cherished wine and give it the optimum aging storage leading to a wonderful aged wine that you can enjoy, or an investment that will continue to appreciate.  Wine storage, like most wine related activities is something that can be learned and implemented.

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