Does Wine Improve With Age?

So, does wine improve with age? It’s common knowledge that over time, the aroma, flavour, colour and taste can change drastically. Wine connoisseurs will agree that the longer wine has been bottled, the better it will taste.

The chemical reaction that occurs among the ingredients in the wine eventually creates a more pleasant taste the longer the bottle is left unopened, meaning the taste of wine is better the longer it’s left unopened.

Although many wine drinkers agree that wine becomes softer the longer it’s left untouched and has added flavour due to the breakdown of tannins, not all wine goes through the same process. A lot of wines, especially white and Champagne, have naturally lower acidic levels.

Having lower acidic levels means the quicker the wine is opened, the better it will taste. Phenolic compounds can also contribute to the overall flavour, as well as colour and consistency.

How Much Do People Spend On Aged Wine?

If you’re a wine enthusiast, it’s not just the age of the wine you’re interested in, it’s the journey of how and when it was made.

Whether it be a famous vintage wine region in France or a family-run vineyard in northwestern Spain, we can all admit that knowing the journey of each bottle makes each sip more interesting. Aged wine isn’t always expensive to buy, but wines that are aged in oak barrels do have a higher price – this is due to the oak barrel method being known for adding unique flavours and aromas.

With bottles of both red and white wine being sold across the world daily, it’s no surprise that many vintage wine sellers charge a large sum of money for the most sought-after vintage wine. Most 19th-century red wine can cost anywhere between £18,000 and £22,000 per bottle, proving that people will pay top prices to get their hands on mature wine.

What Ages Better, Red Or White?

Whether you have a bottle of red or white wine, the enjoyment of sitting down to share some bold, hearty cheeses or a fresh seafood platter paired with a vintage bottle is still the same.

Although white wine isn’t aged as long as red, people will still go out of their way to get their hands on a bottle of Chardonnay and Riesling – two great white wines that age well due to their low pH. Both Chardonnay and Riesling are great if you don’t like red wine but enjoy the experience of drinking aged wine.

Experts say that you can successfully age red and white wine, with both having a great potential to become flavoursome the longer they’re left. Red wine tends to age better than white, due to its flavours being able to easily evolve compared to white. The reason red wine has the ability to strengthen its flavour is that it’s fermented with its skin.

Although white wine can be aged efficiently, the winemaking method is different to red wine. A disadvantage of ageing white wine is that the flavour isn’t able to develop as well as red – this is due to white wine having a fewer amount of tannins, which equals a reduced ageing range.

Can Ageing Effect The Colour Of Wine?

Given enough time, both red and white wines change colour throughout the ageing process. Storage conditions can play a big factor when ageing wine, especially if it’s red.

Eventually, red wine turns a lighter colour, as opposed to white wines that do the opposite, becoming a darker, golden shade. The vibrancy tends to shift during the ageing stage due to the impact of oxygen and the formation of polymeric pigments.

Phenolic compounds also have a big impact on the colour of wine, as well as its taste and smoothness. Phenols in wine come from the skin, pulp and stems of grapes.

Due to the complex chemical reactions that occur in the phenolic compounds during the ageing process, the wine goes through a variety of colour changes at different stages.

Why Should We Use A Decanter?

Decanters are a staple for wine drinkers, providing benefits to help give your wine the best taste. Separating the sediment from the wine itself is key in completing the final step of the ageing process. Why wait all this time to enjoy a bottle of top vintage wine to jeopardise the final taste?

Even though decanting (allowing the wine to breathe) has proven to help enhance the overall flavour of wine, the process is usually only used if you’re drinking a bottle of red.

Although the aroma and flavour in both red and white wine are equally great, red wine contains more sediment and therefore, needs longer to breathe. Although red wine is more common and requires the decanting process, there’s still a variety of white wines that taste better decanted.

Older, vintage bottles of white wine such as Bordeaux should be encouraged to be left to breathe because older wines are known to be more expressive at warmer temperatures. If you don’t own a decanter, using any open-top glass structure similar to a vase also works effectively.

Appreciating Aged Wine

Regardless of the variety of ways we can age wine, the journey from the cellar to finally being able to pour the wine into a glass is undoubtedly the most rewarding part of the process. The transformation of wine over the years allows a new palate to form and we should take great pleasure in being able to enjoy something so evolved.

If you prefer your wine chilled and served at a colder temperature, Enofaber has a variety of wine coolers to accommodate your collection.

We have a collection of top-quality wine coolers that can be integrated, built-in or left freestanding. ClimadiffDometic and Dunovox are among the list of brands we stock at Enofaber and are manufactured in France with the highest standard in mind.