Wine for the Ages

Beer and Wine, Cooking How-To, Drinks, How-To, Wine 101
on April 1, 2009
Aging Wine
Mark Boughton Photogrpahy / styling by Teresa Blackburn

Q. Should I age my wines before drinking them?

A. The overwhelming majority of wines don't need any more aging than the time it takes to get them off the shelf and onto your table. In fact, many wines will actually start to go downhill within just a couple of years.

Only a tiny percentage of wines get noticeably better with long cellaring, and they're usually quite expensive. But for this elite group, aging of 5, 10, or even many more years, can dramatically enhance complexity, bring out exciting new flavors and make the wine taste smoother and more balanced.

A few of the best, most popular, wines to cellar are: Barolo, Barbaresco, Brunello, red Bordeaux, red Burgundy, pricey Pinot Noir, reserva and gran reserva Rioja, premium California Cabernet Sauvignon, fine vintage Champagne, and superior quality Port and Sherry.

—Charles Smothermon, a food and wine writer in Laurin, Mont.