The process of aging wine begins after purchasing your wine bottle and storing it in a calm and dark place over a specified period. This way, the wine improves in flavor and taste, the more it stays in the bottle for years. Most people, however, do not realize that not all wine on the market is meant for aging and which one should be consumed immediately. So, When and why should you age your wine? Which is the best wine to cellar, and for how long? Continue reading this post to learn more below:
What Happens When You Cellar Wine?
Wine is generally enjoyable right from the moment you open the bottle, but certain wine types can benefit from cellaring or aging. As mentioned above, aging wine can improve flavor and taste. Wine contains phenolic compounds (tannins), which over time, lose their strength and merge. Consequently, their surface area shrinks and ultimately allows the wine to taste much smoother.
As your wine ages, its color begins to change. For instance, the white wine is initially light-yellow in color but gradually turns into a deeper amber hue in the final steps of its aging process. Likewise, red wine also turns into a conspicuous dark-brown color.
Which Wine Will Cellar Best?
Each wine type has a different aging process. Hence, it’s essential to understand the types of traits to consider when choosing the perfect wine to age. For instance, wines with acidic qualities last much longer since they shade off the acidity in the process of aging. Consider the following characteristics when picking a wine bottle to age:
- Choose Sweet Wines: Wines with high sugar content can age for a more extended period compared to dry varieties. Having known this, consider types such as Riesling, Sherry, or even Port as perfect options.
- Balanced Tannins: In red wine varieties, tannins break down during the aging process giving rise to a smooth taste. Hence, choose wines that contain moderate tannins.
How Long Should You Cellar Your Wine?
Red wines are typically more flexible when aging. While some can age in just under five years, others can age for decades. Remember, some wine bottles may already have been in cellars before retailing in stores. Terms such as Gran Reserva and Riserva are key terms to pay attention to when identifying aged wine. Moreover, bottles containing high acidity and sugar age for longer. However, fortified wines contain higher alcohol contents that act as a protective layer against aging. For example, Sauternes and Madeira are such examples that can last for decades.
When to Start Aging Your Wine
So, when exactly should you begin aging your wine? There are various fundamental factors you must keep in mind. Most wine bottles require cellaring at 55-59 degrees Fahrenheit and approximately 75% humidity. To achieve these conditions, consider investing in a climate-controlled cellar or refrigeration unit.
Are you ready to begin cellaring and expanding your wine collection? If so, then the insights offered above will set you off on the right track. Ensure you research more on the best aging wines available on the market today.