Know When to Drink Your Wines

when to drink your wines

13 Jan Know When to Drink Your Wines

If you’re an avid wine collector, you probably have different varietals and vintages in your cellar. Some of them might be fit for immediate consumption while others require a little aging for their flavours to develop fully. It can be a challenge to determine when to drink your wines and how long you should allow your vintages to age. Some wines will spoil if you store them for too long and that’s a waste of money. Here are some tips to know when to drink your wines:

What You Should Know

Most of the wines you purchase from wine stores today can be consumed immediately and do not require cellaring. They are pre-aged and have developed full flavour before they were released into the market. Manufacturers also place a tag on the wine bottle or mention the consumption timeline. For example, they may mention that the wine is fit for consumption between now and 2022, based on your storage. You shouldn’t attempt to age these wines and should consume them within the recommended timeframe. These wines will easily last for five years if you store them well.

How to Identify Wines that Aren’t Age-Worthy?

People speak of aging wines often and that’s why wine collectors come to believe there are several age-worthy vintages available in the market. That’s simply not true as only around 1% of the wines available now are age-worthy. We don’t fully understand the science of aging wines as it depends largely on the levels of sugar, tannins, alcohol, and acidity.

You also need the right environmental conditions paired with varietals produced in a specific region to get age-worthy wines. As a general rule of thumb, any wine that’s considered affordable and is available in your local supermarket won’t age well and is designed for immediate consumption.

Even slightly expensive wines might not be age-worthy. White and sparkling wines should be consumed within 1 or 2 years of the vintage. Wines with low tannin content can also be consumed within that 5 year period.

Which Wines are Age-Worthy?

It’s a general assumption that red wines can be aged and white wines should not. There are some whites that develop intense and complex flavours when they’re aged so you shouldn’t disregard them. Among white wines, you can expect Burgundies, Chardonnays, Rieslings, Champagnes, and Chenins to age well. Dessert wines like Semillons and Muscats will also develop complex sweetness and flavour if they’re stored in the cellar for a while before consumption.

With reds, most classic and premium wines might require some aging. Wines from ancient estates in Europe like Burgundy, Boudreaux, etc, will improve if they’re aged well. This is because they tend to have high tannin levels and are made using traditional techniques.

What to do if the Wine is Too Young?

If you accidently open a young vintage and find the flavour a little too sharp, you don’t need to discard the wine entirely. You can consume meat or cheese before you sample the wine to smoothen the flavour. You can also re-cork the wine and store it for a few days so it develops a deeper and more subtle flavour because of the exposed air. Alternately, you can use the decanter and air out the wine and soften the flavours a little. That would remove most of the sharpness of a young wine and make it more palatable.

For more information on wine and when to drink it, you can call Signature Cellars on 02 9340 7515 or use this contact form to get in touch with us. We’ll be pleased to assist you.

Thanks for reading,
Neil Smallman
Signature Cellars
1300 570 636

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