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3 min read

Why Should I Age My Wine?

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As you buy bottles of wine, you might wonder if you should drink them in the very near future or allow them to age. Aging may sound a bit mysterious, harkening back to the days of Romans stashing wine in catacombs. It’s a practice that has evolved through the years, with wine being stored in caves and then cellars. Most people today drink wine fairly quickly after they buy it, but aging can be a rewarding and worthwhile practice in some cases.

Read on to learn more about the practice of aging wine as well as the benefits it can yield.


What Does Aging Wine Accomplish?

Wine isn’t static–it evolves over time, with acids, alcohols, and other compounds dissolving and combining again to create new flavors, textures, and even colors. You’ll often find that fruity flavors may move from the forefront to take a backseat after aging, with some wines developing a fuller, more earthy flavor.

If a bottle of wine were a human being, aging it would be comparable to knowing a person later in their life as opposed to when they were a child or adolescent. Although they’re the same person, their personality would likely have become richer and more developed as they’ve aged. 

Can All Wines Benefit From Aging?

Only certain wines are worthy of aging, and most are meant to be drunk right away or in the near future. A good wine merchant can give you some options if you’d like to buy some wines to age.

In general, wines that age well have plenty of flavor and high acidity and tannin levels, which act as natural preservatives. They’re also made from high-quality grapes. Fortified wines, some sparkling wines, whites such as Riesling and Chenin Blanc, and reds including Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir are often good choices for aging.

Where Should You Age Your Wine?

Many people have a wine rack on top of their refrigerator for convenience, but this is one of the worst places to store and age wine. Since light and warmth are enemies of wine, store and age your bottles in a cool, dark place. The ancient Romans knew what they were doing by storing wine in catacombs!

Wine benefits from constant cool temperatures ranging from 53-57°F since higher temperatures can cause wine to “cook,” which makes its fruit flavors taste mushy at best. Ultraviolet rays can also spoil wine. That’s why you need a cool, dark place for your wine. A dedicated room designed to be a wine cellar is certainly nice, but it isn’t necessary. A basement or even an interior closet tend to be good locations to serve as a wine cellar in which to store and age your wine, and areas like garages or outdoor sheds are among the worst.

If you choose wines that are good for aging and store them properly, they’ll reward you when they’ve matured as you’re treated to richer, more complex flavors. You could even buy a case of a favorite wine that’s worthy of aging and try the bottles at different intervals to see how they taste different over time. If you have questions or additional comments about wine storage Call or visit us at Haskell's, we’re always happy to help you figure out a wine you’re likely to enjoy, especially once it’s had some time to age. We’ll even store your wine for you!

Aged wine can also make for a fun and unique gift. If you have a child or a grandchild, a neat idea is to buy them some wine from the year of their birth. Say a child was born in 2012, with a little research, you can easily figure out which areas made good wine that year–good candidates usually include wines from Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Barolo. Port wine can also be an excellent choice. Once you find a good wine, purchase it and cellar it away. You can age it and open it upon a 21st birthday, holiday, graduation, or wedding celebration. The recipient will enjoy it for many years to come! 


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