How to Age Wine
Why age wine? Well, the many parts of the wine will mellow out over time and give off a harmonious balance to the flavor of the wine. The tannins, found in red wine, give a bitter and astringent flavor. Given time, the tannins aid to age the wine. As wine ages, the tannins evaporate out of the wine, bringing a smoother and more mellow flavor. As the wine ages, the acids lose some of their bite, letting the fruit come out more. As the parts of the wine age, they also give off more complexity to the flavor. What you end up with after several years of correct aging is a complex and balanced wine.
What wines should be aged? There are specific guidelines as to what wines should and should not be aged, but they are just guidelines, not concrete rules. Most wines from California are created to be drunk right away and should not be aged. Most white wines shouldn’t be aged, as they have a lower amount of tannins as compared to red wine. It is the tannins that are found in red wines that lets the wine age well.
There are some white wines, though, that will enhance with a couple of years of aging. Most wines less than $30 don’t need to be aged. Many French wines are to be aged and mature over many years. There are exclusions to these rules. Stop by any wine shop and ask which wines they would suggest for aging. They can suggest many good wines, as well as some ideas of how long to age the wine.
How do I age wine? Correct storage is vital for a wine to age well. The wine should be placed on its side, so that the wine is in contact with the cork, stopping it from drying out. The storage area must be dark, and have lots of moisture to stop the cork from drying, which may loosen it.