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Wine Spectator School

Class 2: Tasting Reds

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Peak Drinking

At peak, the wine still retains some youthful fruit flavors, which are augmented by the more subtle, darker aromas and flavors of maturity. The mature wine's texture will be smoother and the wine will seem more delicate and focused.

As a rule of thumb, a mature wine will remain at its peak for about the same length of time it took to achieve it.

Finally the remaining fruit fades and the wine declines, turning amber-brown. Acidity and tannins dominate and the wines can be described as dried out, over the hill or dead.


Picking the Peak

There are, however, many wines that are better after a short time in the cellar than they were at release. A period as brief...

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