One of our readers, Roger, just posted a good question in response to a recent blog. “When do you think is the earliest point to open a 2001 [Cabernet]?”
I think 2001s should drink well from now until they’re 15 or 20 years old, maybe longer, assuming they’re properly stored. But if you’re not sure, open your '01 now.
Roger’s question is an easy one to answer, because I’ve been fortunate enough to drink all kinds of wines from all over the world at all different ages. And most of the time I prefer my wines younger rather than older, because I enjoy the fruity exuberance of a young wine.
I also know that it’s hard to predict how well wines will age, so the longer you cellar a wine, the more the odds of it being as great as it was in its youth diminish. Put another way, I drink my wines young to avoid being disappointed.
To determine whether you like older wines, if you don't already know, find a friend or wine group that's willing to share their collection with you. You might be surprised by how many people would love to help you out. Or, buy a case of one wine and conduct your own experiment. Start by opening a bottle the day you get it, then try another bottle three to six months later, then a year later, two years later and so on. This will allow you to study how the wine evolves, and hopefully you’ll get a better sense of when you like your wines best.
Others might have better advice on how to approach this homework assignment. I invite you to share your thoughts by posting a response to today's blog.