Wine Aging 101

Wine Aging 101

There is a romantic allure in popping the cork off a bottle of wine from a special year. For example, couples may store a bottle of wine from the year they were married to be opened at their 25th wedding anniversary. There is also something exciting about drinking wine that was bottled before the individual was even born. But before you set aside vintages to age in your cellar, you should brush up on the basics of wine aging.

Understanding the Aging Process

Aging or cellaring a wine causes a few things to happen. Over time, the color of the wine will alter slightly. The tannins will soften and become rounder, and the acidity will become less pronounced. Youthful wines often embody fruity, oaky tastes. But as wine ages, it takes on more complex earthy and leathery notes.

Determining Which Wines to Drink Now

Although aging a fine bottle of wine can bring out the best in it, not every bottle is meant to be aged. In fact, the vast majority of wines should be consumed within five years of purchase. It’s safe to assume that all wines costing $30 and less should be consumed within a few years. After that point, the good qualities of the wine may actually begin to deteriorate.

Identifying Which Wines to Age

Many wines priced above $30 should also be consumed within five years, making it difficult to tell which wines to age. Only high-end, premium wines can benefit from cellaring. As a general rule of thumb, you can age wines with a firm structure and high acidity. Some examples include Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Pinot Noir. When cellaring fine wines, ensure they are in a space with steady, cool temperatures (55 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal) and zero sunlight exposure.

After a busy day skiing or hiking in Steamboat Springs, CO, you can head to the Truffle Pig for an elegant and relaxing dinner. This popular restaurant offers an extensive wine list, along with a delectable seasonal menu. Call the Truffle Pig at (970) 879-7470 to request reservations.