What Wine Ages Best? (eSommelier Answers!)

eSommelier’s Guide to What Wine Ages Best


Many people ask the question, "What wine ages best?" The answer, of course, depends on individual tastes. However, certain types of wines generally age well.


One of the benefits of aging wine is that it can mellow out some of the harsher flavors in the drink. Therefore, many people prefer aged wines to young wines. The tannins in red wine, for example, can make a young wine taste astringent and bitter. But as red wine ages, these tannins break down, and the wine becomes smoother and more palatable.


However, not all wines improve with age. Some are meant to be consumed young and fresh, while others are better when they're a few years old. In general, white wines and lighter red wines are meant to be consumed young, while heavier red wines are better when they've had a chance to age.

If you're looking for a wine that will improve with age, here are some of the best options:


Red Bordeaux


This is perhaps the most classic example of a wine that ages well. Red Bordeaux is known for its ability to age gracefully for decades. Finding a good vintage from a reputable producer is the key to aging red Bordeaux. If you can find a wine that has been properly cellared, it will continue to develop complex flavors over time.


Burgundy


Like Bordeaux, Burgundy is another classic wine region known for producing wines that age well. The key to aging Burgundy is to find a good producer and look for wines from great vintage sellers. Burgundy can be cellared for many years and will continue developing delicate flavors and aromas.


Rhône Valley


The Rhône Valley is another great region for wines that age well. When properly taken care of, the best Rhône wines can be cellared for many years and will continue to develop impeccable flavors and aromas.


Champagne


Contrary to popular belief, Champagne ages very well. When stored in optimum conditions, a good Champagne can age for many years, and even decades. Of course, not all Champagnes are created equal, and some will age better than others. In general, vintage Champagnes with higher doses of sugar will age better than non-vintage or brut styles.


Madeira


Madeira is a fortified wine that ages exceptionally well. One of the reasons that Madeira ages so well is because of the unique production process. The grapes are fermented and then aged in oak barrels. The barrels are exposed to the sun and heat, which causes the wine to oxidize. This oxidation gives Madeira its distinctive flavor profile, characterized by nuts, dried fruits, and caramel notes.


Whether you're a seasoned wine connoisseur or just looking to expand your flavor profile with aging wines, these are some of the best options. Of course, many other delicious wines age well, so feel free to explore and find the ones that suit your tastes.


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