WINE AND AGING
Perhaps you've had the chance to taste one of the world's great red wines when it was fully mature. If so, it's an experience you remember for many years. Mature wines from outstanding vintages are the stuff of legends and provide tangible ties to distant summers and harvests.
Most Wines Are Not Designed for the Long Haul
In reality, only a tiny portion, some 5%, of the world's wines are actually better after a couple years in the cellar. Even fewer can improve for 10 or more years.
Most wines, both red and white, do not have the stuffing it takes to improve over time, but they can offer value and are perfect for everyday drinking.
The Rewards of Maturity: Bouquet and Texture
The hallmarks of well-aged wines are bouquet and texture.
A young wine's fruity aromas and flavors come mainly from the grapes. As the wine matures, these vibrant primary fruit flavors slowly evolve, gaining dark, earthy and leathery notes called "bottle bouquet" or simply "bouquet."
Over time, a wine's texture also evolves. The wine feels smoother and silkier in your mouth. This happens when firm or rough tannins soften and fall out of the wine as sediment.
If you have questions about Wine Spectator School, please contact us.
Passionate about wine? WineSpectator.com seeks a highly motivated digital journalist for an assistant editor position in its New York editorial department.