I think it is a common mistake among those that do not know much about wine to believe, as a general rule, that most wine gets better with age. On the contrary, most wines are actually best when they are young, i.e. recently bottled, perhaps within the past 6-18 months. In fact, it has been estimated that perhaps only 10% of red wines and 5% of white wines are worth aging for much more than a year, while maybe only 1% of all wines are worth aging more than 10
So which wines should be aged? This is a difficult question to answer, due to the fact that wines from each vineyard are unique and the conditions under which a wine is produced may affect its ability to age well. Generally, however, certain wines are more prone to aging well than others. For example, certain Malbecs from Argentina may age very well, whereas an Argentine Torrontes should most likely be drank young. For a better understanding of which wines are better for aging, this site is helpful. Still, to be safe, it is advisable to get some advice from a wine expert before shoving an expensive bottle of wine in the cellar for a few years.
Certain characteristics indicate that a wine will improve with age. First of all, since tannins are an acidic preservative, a high tannin content may point to the fact that a wine could improve with age. Because tannins precipitate out of a wine over time (becoming sediment in the bottle), it may be a good idea to age a very tannic wine. This may let it become less bitter over time, allowing the characteristics of the wine to come into greater balance. Also, wines with a lower pH level are more capable of
So, the next time you attend a wine tasting in Buenos Aires, don’t be disappointed if all of the wines presented have been produced within the past year. Certainly, you would prefer a crisp, light, young Torrontes to a brown, vinegary one – as it would probably be after a few decades of aging.
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