When browsing the aisles of our local bottle shop looking for our next bottle of wine, we often purchase with one goal in mind – to drink that bottle as soon as the appropriate occasion arises.
However, not all wine lovers are shopping around for instant drinkability. The process of ageing and cellaring wine can be rewarding for wine enthusiasts, regardless of whether you are doing it to increase investment value, expand your interest in a particular region or indulge your nostalgic side.
Knowing which wines to age and which ones to enjoy in the here and now can be difficult to ascertain. Here are four key characteristics to help you cellar correctly and maximise the future enjoyment of your wine collection.
As wines age, their acidity levels slowly flatten out and eventually dissipate over time. This means that wines with higher acidity levels are ripe for ageing, as they will retain their acids longer than varietals that originally have lower acidity.
- Alcohol level
Ever opened a bottle of aged wine to be greeted with a lip-smacking aroma resembling vinegar? You can thank higher alcohol levels for turning your cellared wines into a vinegary concoction. This is why all non-fortified wines that you plan to age, from dry reds to white wines, should have an ABV below 13.5%.
A general rule of thumb for ageing is that wine with higher tannins, such as reds, tend to age better than those that are less tannic. Time allows the tannins to soften and smooth out, making the wine more palatable down the track. However, ageing cannot improve wines that have a tannic imbalance to begin with – your cellaring efforts will reap the most rewards from wines with a well-balanced profile of grape and wood tannins.
When it comes to ageing wine, many of us tend to cellar dry varietals with higher tannin contents. However, higher sugar levels can work wonders when ageing wine – sweeter wines such as Port, Sherry and Sauternes tend to be the longest lasting aged wines.
Ageing your wine collection involves more than knowledge – it also requires the correct storage unit, such as a Grand Cru wine fridge. Explore our range of wine storage solutions today at www.grandcruwinefridges.com.au.