Which wines are the best wines for aging or – correctly – for more extended maturation in the bottle? The saying that the older the wine is, the better it is, is not entirely true, as most wines that come on the market are optimal for drinking at that time. But some only get better over time. Great wines need several years of life in the bottle to develop maturing or so-called tertiary aromas, such as the smell of tobacco, cigars, leather, leaves, earth, and the like.

Red Varieties Are the Best Wines for AgingThe Best Wines for Aging

In general, red wines are more suitable for aging than white because they contain antioxidants – tannins. Of course, tannins are also contained in white macerated or so-called orange wines. All great wines also have an abundance of acids and extracts, which is crucial for long maturation in bottles. As the saying goes, good Bordeaux and Burgundy, as well as Brunello and Barolo from Piedmont, Italy, last the longest.

Rhine Riesling Is Among the Best Wines for Aging

“Of the white varieties, Rhine Riesling is the best for maturing in the bottle. The wines of excellent German vintages can endure 40 years and more. Chardonnay can also be long-lived, but not so long-lived as red varieties.

The Best Wines for Aging Are Not Cheap

One of the indicators of which wines are suitable for more extended storage is also the price – usually in line with the saying about money and music. The ones we buy in supermarkets at the lowest prices are, therefore, best drunk as soon as possible. “For seven euros, we can find a wine that will gain something in a year or so. For eight to 12 euros, we can already buy wines that are safe for two or three years. After that time, they will be different but not necessarily better.

We have a saying in Slovenia: “Little money, little music.” It means in the wine sense: “If you pay less money, you get less quality wine, and you also decrease the meaning of the work of good winemakers.”

Recommended Temperatures for Serving Individual Wine Styles:

  • 6-8 degrees Celsius – sparkling wines;
  • 8-12 degrees Celsius – fresh white wines and rosé wines;
  • 12-14 degrees Celsius – sweet, dessert wines, orange wines;
  • 14-16 degrees Celsius – light red wines, alcoholic wines (port, Madeira, sherry);
  • 16-18 degrees Celsius – all other red wines.

Wines Should Be Stored at Serving Temperatures

In order for properly selected wines to gain quality over the years, they must also be properly stored. A slightly deeper basement is ideal. Wines can also be stored in another room, but we must pay attention to temperature, temperature fluctuations, humidity, and light, which is the enemy of wine bottles.

“Opinions vary, but we won’t do anything wrong if we store the wines at serving temperatures, that is, eight to 18 degrees Celsius. The ideal temperature is, of course, somewhere in between. The optimum humidity in the room where we store wines is between 65 and 75 percent. It is desirable, however, that the humidity does not fall below 50 percent; otherwise, a vacuum may form, and the bottle stopper ‘sucks’.

What if we do not have a basement or cannot meet the above conditions? In my opinion, for limited quantities of wine, a wine cabinet or wine refrigerator is a very convenient solution. If we have a wine cabinet, we will also be able to serve the wine at the optimal temperature. The fact is that the quality of every wine decreases at both too low and too high a temperature, whether it is red, white, orange, or rose.

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