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Sage Advice About Aging Wine
I have been a regular reader of the BKWine Brief newsletter for many years. This monthly publication is written by Britt and Per Karlsson and is offered free to online subscribers at bkwine.com. The Karlssons are respected wine journalists and authors who yearly visit some 200 wineries all over the world and also offer wine tours.
Here are some very salient comments offered in their most recent Brief of May 2014 about aging wine, along with a few of my own observations:
Most wines should be drunk within five years, but sometimes wines can surprise you and age much longer than expected.
The importance of aging wine is exaggerated. Some even say that a wine must be aged or have the capacity to age to be considered great. Preposterous!
Some wines need to be aged to develop more interesting characters, and this is good reason to cellar them. But they aren’t necessarily better wines because they require age and time to mature.
Judgments about when wine will reach its “peak” are very subjective. Better not to fret over it—and pop the cork when you feel like it.
Only quality wines become more interesting with cellaring. Aging a bad bottle of wine will not turn it into a better wine.
Inexperienced wine drinkers may not appreciate the tastes that develop over time in a wine. They may pronounce it undrinkable or “too old” although the wine has naturally aged.
Ask yourself, “Is the wine delicious to drink now?” If your answer is, “Yes,” then enjoy it now.
The golden rule is never let a wine slip past its prime. Once it’s dead, it won’t come back to life. When you discover a wine at its peak, pull the cork on every identical bottle you own, invite me over, and let’s party.