How to Age Wine: Best Practices
Learning how to age wine isn’t difficult, but there are a few important tips and tricks you should be aware of. Aging wine is a practice that people have been experimenting with for hundreds of years. Everyone knows the phrase, “aging like fine wine,” which insinuates that aged wine is better than wine that has not gone through the aging process.
While this isn’t always true, aged wine certainly is famous for its more complex flavors and aromas. So, if you have a fine bottle of wine that you would like to age, where should you start? Read more to find out.
How to Age Wine: Use The Dark
It is very important to keep your fine wine in a very dark place if you want it to age well for many years. No matter how long you age your wine, you should never expose it to excessive sunlight or lights that emanate heat. This is because excessive light can end up oxidating your wine.
If oxidation occurs, this will cause changes in the wine’s flavor and aroma, and certainly not for the better. Oxidation may also turn the wine a strange color. Specifically, oxidation will make your wine taste a bit stale or odd. The aroma may even turn sour or rubber-like.
Of course, no one wants to drink wine that smells like rubber, burnt food, gasoline, or rotten eggs, but these smells certainly do arise if wine has become oxidized. Besides keeping your wine in a dark location like a closet or wine cellar, you should also try to choose wines that are stored in dark bottles. The dark glass will prevent most light from penetrating the glass and reaching the wine.
As long as you do that, your wine should stay in good shape for many years to come.
Mind The Temperature
The temperature that the wine is stored in is just as important as light exposure. Wine can’t stand to exist in warm environments. Many people make the mistake of storing their best wines in areas like the kitchen to age for many years. This is one of the worst things you can do because the kitchen, of course, can get quite hot, especially if you often cook.
Exposing a good wine to excessive heat will alter it in different ways. Extreme heat will cause the molecules in the wine to break down. Heat of varying degrees may otherwise turn the wine sour and create an unusual smell and taste. The best solution is to find a stable and cool area to store your wine. Again, a wine cellar is the ideal place because it should have a consistently cool temperature. If you don’t have a wine cellar on hand, you can always purchase a wine refrigerator.
This device should also keep your wine stored at a consistently cool temperature.
Choose The Right Wine to Age
Not many people know that some wines should not be aged. On the other hand, some wines will greatly benefit from being aged. If you choose a wine like sherry or vermouth to age, you may be disappointed to know that these wines don’t really improve in flavor after the aging process. Most types of white wine also don’t need to be aged. However, certain types of white wines may benefit from being aged for a few years.
Most red wines are ideal to age for many years, sometimes for even more than a decade. For example, port, pinot noir, and other similar wines often benefit from aging since this will allow the already rich flavors in the wine to become even richer and fuller. So, as long as you make sure the wine stays in a stable environment while it ages, it should be great to drink after several years.
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