What's the best source of info for when to drink a wine?

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Dear Dr. Vinny,

What's the best source for correct data on when a wine should be enjoyed by?

—Susan, West Monroe, Ill.

Dear Susan,

Really, you are the best expert for your own palate. It makes me cringe when people ask about cellaring wines to age when they don’t have experience drinking and enjoying older wines, which I think is an acquired taste. Spoiler alert: Old wines can taste … old.

With some wines, that can be a transformative experience—an evolution, a time capsule of sorts, and a way to drink memories from that vintage. But if you enjoy your wines when they are young and not old, an older wine is unlikely to be to your taste.

That said, all of our wine reviews come with drinking windows, or "drink by" recommendations, and we’ve always been very conservative with those dates—knowing both that older wines are an acquired taste and that not everyone has the cellar conditions to age those wines. But they are a guide for those of you paying attention to such things. But you really should apply your own personal preferences as a filter to anyone else's drinking recommendations.

—Dr. Vinny

Ask Dr. Vinny aging-wine

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