When I was growing up I can remember old Hollywood movies of G.I’s in WWII finding wine cellars in french chateaus that were filled with cobwebs and dusty old wine bottles. It was from those images that most of us got the idea that any wine just got better with age. That idea just isn’t true. The truth is that wines are like people, they come into the world young and underdeveloped. The next phase is the prime years, that is when they have achieved the most character and depth of flavor. Finally they reach a stage that is past their prime and go down hill from there. Most wines are made to be consumed within 2 to 3 years from their production. The time frame from harvest to your glass has so many variables that it is mind-boggling. Every wine maker has a vision for each wine that they will make and this plan is fluid so that adjustments can be made as needed. I would say that any wine you buy today is ready to drink and enjoy because it wouldn’t have been released if it wasn’t. You can find vintage charts online that will tell you if a wine is ready to drink and the time horizon for its prime years. Now take that bottle your Great Uncle Joe brought back from the war and clean it up and use it as a decoration.
- Winetasting (averygrandpressigny.blogspot.com)
- Drink up your wines before you die (or they do) (alastairbathgate.com)
- Wine Words: Maturity (thekitchn.com)