Do all wines improve with age?

Ask Dr Vinny

Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don't worry, I'm no wine snob—you can also ask me those "dumb questions" you're too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don't forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.

Dear Dr. Vinny,

Do all wines improve with age?

—John, Manitowoc, Wisc.

Dear John,

Wines should taste good when you buy them. There are some very special wines that will further evolve—with the right storage conditions—into lovely mature wines. As they age, their aromas and flavor profiles will change, but whether that is for the better or worse is a matter of taste: Fruit flavors fade into the background, while earth, mineral, mushroom, floral and nutty notes become more prominent. If you’ve never tried an aged wine, you might be surprised by how it tastes.

That’s to say, while it’s a nice thought to purchase wines to store for later and see how they evolve, I wouldn’t recommend making that your primary strategy unless you’re certain that you like the taste of mature wines.

—Dr. Vinny

Ask Dr. Vinny Aging Wine Storage

More In Dr. Vinny

Do dessert wines lose their sweetness with age?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny talks to two experts on Bordeaux dessert wines from …

Oct 21, 2020

Should you hold a bottle of wine by the punt when pouring?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny offers tips for wine service.

Oct 19, 2020

What does “angular” mean in wine tasting lingo?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains the wine tasting descriptors for structure and …

Oct 16, 2020

Can a wine's score improve as it favorably ages?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains why critics sometimes revisit older wines to …

Oct 14, 2020

Can I remove the alcohol content of wine by boiling it?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains how "alcohol-free" wine is made (it's not …

Oct 12, 2020

When serving a chilled bottle of wine, do you leave the bottle out or do you put it back in the fridge?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny offers tips for serving wine at the perfect temperature.

Oct 9, 2020