One of the common misconceptions many people have about wine is that the older it is, the better it is. No! Most wine is produced to be enjoyed without having to undergo an aging process; in other words, young wine is meant to be imbibed right away. If you’re still wondering when to drink wine, read on for a more detailed explanation.
Simply put, wine isn’t a priceless heirloom or antique that’s going to appreciate in value (99.9% of the time, anyway). It’s not going to taste 100 times better because you stuck it in your basement and forgot about it for 5 years.
Here’s the reality: most winemakers produce products that you can drink as soon as you buy. They do this for a few reasons, one of which is that only certain varietals should be aged. Most wines, from the time they hit the store shelf, should be consumed within 6 months. Another reason is because most people don’t know squat (the technical term!) about how to properly age wine.
The aging process is actually quite complicated and involves a myriad of conditions that must be perfect in order to produce a well-aged bottle of wine. Those conditions are: sunlight, humidity, and temperature, aka, the holy trinity of wine aging. During aging, wine should be stored out of sunlight, at a temperature of around 55-65 degrees, and at a humidity level of around 70%.
Not many of us can manage to maintain all three of these year-round. There are also other steps to done, like rotating the bottle to keep the cork moist. Truthfully, it’s not something the average wine drinker even wants to mess with, and that’s completely understandable! Nothing wrong with wanting to drink your wine ASAP.
But if young wine just isn’t your thing and you’re truly interested in aging it, some of the wines that work well include the following: red blends, cabernet sauvignon, vintage port, and cool climate pinot noirs. Now, just because a wine falls into one of these categories, it does not necessarily mean it will age well. Before aging any wine, you must do some research on not only the aging process, but on the wine you’re considering aging as well.
When to drink wine is actually a fairly easy question to answer – drink it now! If you have a hankering to age some wine, more power to you. Just remember that the vast majority of wine is meant to be enjoyed while it’s young and at its peak flavor.