Why You Should Cellar Your Wine
Wine lovers are taking their hobby to the next level by cellaring their aged wine. The process involves storing wine in an environment with temperature and humidity that remains constant. Wine can be drunk now, or it can be aged for years to come – how long the wine will last is determined by what type of wine you’re buying.
If you’re purchasing aged wines but aren’t cellaring your bottles, we’re here to tell you why you should.
Let’s start with the basics.
Most high-quality wines, when stored in a cool place, will get better with age and develop more complex flavours. These complex flavours are what happens during the maturation process, so if you want to get to experience the newest aromas and flavours, then some wines should be aged as long as possible. It’s typically best to drink your wine within six months of purchasing to enjoy the best flavour. However, if you want to age your wine for later consumption, make sure you store it in a cool place.
Can all wines be cellared?
The short answer is yes, but not all wines are meant for long-term ageing. Some wines should be consumed within one year of being bottled. Others will benefit from ageing for several years or even decades. The optimum maturation period will simply depend on whether it is red or white, the size of the bottle, and the year the grapes were harvested.
Some wines that may not be worth cellaring include cheaper bottles of wine that aren’t of great quality. Unfortunately, ageing that $8 bottle of red wine you got on clearance won’t make it extraordinary and you should probably drink it over the weekend.
Cellaring red vs white wine
Red wines tend to enjoy longer periods of cellaring in comparison to white wine. Cellaring red wines for up to 10 years will not affect their flavour or quality. On the other hand, most white wines should be stored at room temperature for no longer than two to three years. There are some exceptions to this rule, including chardonnay (three to five years), and roussanne (three to seven years).
Wines that aren’t stored properly may not retain their original freshness and will likely result in a faster than usual development. Wine is perishable and highly vulnerable to temperature fluctuations. Therefore, you need to keep your wine in a cool, dark place with minimal fluctuations in temperature.
Again, some wines are made to age longer than others, so always keep in mind that how long the wine will last is determined by the type of wine.
Things to remember when choosing to cellar
When you’re selecting a bottle of wine, ask yourself whether you prefer a wine that is meant to be drunk when it is younger, or one that will age. There are some wines that are made to be drunk as soon as they are opened, while others have powerful tannins and green flavours that will only develop over time. If this is the case, then go ahead and buy a bottle of wine for the future. On the other hand, cellaring young wine is not necessary if you enjoy the taste of it. So, if you like the $8 bottles of wine, then drink them!