The Simple Truth - How Long Should I Age My Wine?

Posted by The Wine Whore |

The answer to the question of how long one should age a wine is� there is no way of knowing exactly how long to wait before uncorking a bottle of wine. Wine is too dynamic to define so simply. Even though many wine �experts� may lead you to believe otherwise, calculating the exact age of any wine�s perfection is a myth. Aging recommendations are merely suggestions.

Wine matures much like a human being. To drink a bottle of wine is to observe a snapshot of it�s personality at that very instant of its lifetime. As a bottle of wine develops over time, its environment provides the setting by which the story unfolds. Poor climate and storage conditions are detrimental and speed up aging while proper care prolongs life.

Regardless of the environment, eventually there is a point where maturation turns to decline and eventually decay. It�s over this lifetime of a bottle of wine that the balance of its characteristics changes. This balance is ultimately responsible for directly contributing to the wine�s greatness at any single point in time.

The key to drinking wine is to capture this snapshot at the peak of its lifetime. This is the point at which the balance is closest to perfect. To determine when to drink a bottle of wine you should always try the same wine/vintage at different points of its lifetime and compare its personality. Don�t be surprised if two bottles opened at the same time have a slight difference in character. Different people may also enjoy the same wine more at different points in it�s lifetime due to personal taste and palette differences. Don�t forget that it is also entirely up to the person tasting to decide if it is great.

In my experience the best way to enjoy wine is not to worry about its age. Instead, you should always enjoy what you have, keep an open mind, and share with those you love.

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