The ageing process behind a bottle of wine can drastically improve its body, colour, and flavour. But if oxidation occurs, the wine’s flavour will change - and not in a good way.
We have teamed up with Dunavox GB to give you some tips regarding the wine’s ageing process and proper storage to enjoy its true value.
Importance of the Wine Ageing Process
Freshly clarified and fermented wine will usually have fruity undertones, but for those who want to preserve wine and see how it develops and matures, the coveted ageing process of wine is something that you need to learn no matter what.
The main purpose of this process is to enjoy the true body and flavour of a wine. Fruitful storage and maturity can improve a wine’s complex body and taste. The ageing process creates the following changes:
A wine’s body can affect your drinking experience. To make sure that you are consuming wine at its desired depth and texture, you need to understand the ageing process of your preferred type of wine.
A wine’s depth, texture, and body will be stagnant during the infancy stage, but the compounds within the beverage will eventually change. Tannins will start to change, reduce and create new combined compounds. Reduced tannins, for instance, can create a rounder finish to wine and give you an easy-to-drink beverage.
The ageing process will start as soon as you store your wine. The condition of the wine at the time of purchase will embody its primary flavours. It’s common for wines to have fruity and bold notes during the infancy stage of the ageing process. But as time passes, secondary undertones will form and transform the wine’s makeup.
The wine’s flavour will continue to change throughout the ageing process. The taste will depend on the wine’s active compounds and the stage that you drink it at. You don’t need to worry about the wine’s alcohol content because it won’t change during the ageing process.
The best thing about this process is that you can do it from home without a grand cellar or winery.
The wine’s colour may change during the ageing process. In some cases, these minor changes will affect your consumption experience.
As time passes, correctly stored whites will develop into amber shades, rosé wines may become dull, and reds will have brown undertones. This process will be controlled by the wine’s oxidization rate. By storing your wines properly, you can reduce the possibility of oxidization and maintain their natural colour.
Best Wines for Ageing
All kinds of wines can benefit from the ageing process as long as you store them properly. Average priced wines are usually purchased for immediate consumption. But if secondary undertones are activated, a bottle of wine can continue to develop great flavours for the next 3 to 5 years.
Expensive wines are usually produced for long-term consumption. Wines with bold tannins that improve with age are usually on the higher end of the spectrum.
So before you buy a bottle of wine, make sure that you understand the true capabilities of your selected wine.
For example, sparkling wines can benefit from maturity. However, you need to store them properly to preserve their fizz. Preservation is usually shorter for wines with lighter notes like those found in white or rose wines.
How to Store Wine
Time can either improve or ruin your favourite wines. That’s why you need to know how to store wines properly, especially if you want to preserve and improve their true value.
Here are some of the most important things that you should keep in mind when storing wines.
● Store wines in a cool, dark area. Any exposure to UV light can speed up the wine’s ageing process. You can easily identify undesirable changes through the wine’s flavour, colour, and smell.
● The ideal temperature to store wines is around 12°C regardless of their body or colour. Store all wines together to preserve their natural balance of ingredients. Increasing or dropping temperatures increases the risk of rapid ageing or oxidization. Once you are ready to drink your wine, you can place it at the best serving temperature.
● The storage area’s humidity levels can increase the risk of mould growth and oxidization in wines with corks. That’s why you should keep the humidity levels between 55% and 80% humidity. By doing so, you can control your wine’s organic development phase.
● Unnecessary vibrations can change the wine’s body, organic compounds, and makeup, so avoid placing your wines in a spot with heavy footfall.
Unpleasant or lingering smells can also interrupt the wine’s ageing process and cause irreversible damages. That’s why you should store wines away from high traffic areas like the kitchen.
By following the tips stated above, you can easily preserve your favourite wines from home and enjoy your vino’s intended colour, flavour, and body.
How Can You Tell if the Ageing Process was Successful?
In some cases, over time wines can oxidize and become non-consumable. If you have followed the tips, you will have a well-preserved bottle of wine. But how can you tell if the ageing process was successful?
First, you need to bring the wine to its correct serving temperature. This will vary from wine to wine, so make sure that you know your wine’s optimal serving temperature before you do anything. You can now pour, taste, and smell your wine.
Changes in texture and colour can sometimes help you determine whether your vino has aged properly.
Tasting the wine will tell you whether its intended body and flavours have changed or remained during the ageing process.
Remember, there are various kinds of wine available. So before investing in a bottle of wine, make sure that you understand everything about it. You need to know how the ageing process can affect its value as well as your ability to drink it.