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Dear Dr. Vinny,

What characteristics does one need to look for in a wine to know if it’s capable of aging gracefully?

—Gerry S., San Juan, Puerto Rico

Dear Gerry,

I’d first look at the characteristics of the person aging the wine, to make certain they like the taste of older wines. Next, I’d look at the cellar, and make certain there are good storage conditions to allow wines to age gracefully.

If I’m talking to a fan of older wines with a cellar that will take good care of them, my advice to look for wines you like while still young. A wine cellar is not a wine hospital, and bottles that are unbalanced, flawed or otherwise not to your liking will just get older, not better. I think wines that age well exhibit a good combination of structure, flavor and intensity.

—Dr. Vinny

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