We all know that wine needs to sit for a few months before it’s ready to drink. Flavor (and alcohol percentage!) can’t be created in a day. But what is wine aging? How long do wines take to age? And why do some wines get better year after year while others turn into vinegar? There’s a few ways you can find out: You could engage in a lengthy and intensive scientific study, aging different wines in different conditions for different lengths of time in order to determine what can be aged and how to age it, or you could save years of your life and read the information compiled in this blog post!
What Does Wine Aging Do?
Wine, like any perishable food, changes with age. For all wines, this change happens first when a concoction of grape juice and yeast is set to resting until it develops an alcohol content and becomes delicious, complex wine. At this point, usually a matter of months after the initial creation of the wine, the winemaker moves the wine from their ‘age’ category into their ‘drink’ category, and you can enjoy it without guilt that you’re not enjoying the wine at its full potential
What Happens to Wine if You Age It More?
With a lot of wine, aging it past its prime drinkability will negate its alcohol content and turn it into vinegary swill. But with certain wines, primarily fortified wines and high acidity reds, aging can produce complex flavors and introduce an extra dimension of depth. A general rule of thumb is that the higher the tannin content of the wine, the better it will age- but there are other factors, such as sugar content and alcohol content, that can effect the aging process. While aging is usually the purview of red wines, other wines can be aged as well. High acidity whites, rosés, and champagnes can also develop complex flavor as they age, though it’s less common. If you’re looking to experiment with wine aging, try with a Syrah!