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Dear Dr. Vinny,

I just put in a wine cellar, and the contractor told me that white wines will only last five years if stored in a 55° F cellar. Should I not store the whites in the cellar with the reds?

—Gaspar, Westchester County, N.Y.

Dear Gaspar,

Actually, a 55° F cellar (with 70 percent humidity and little to no light or vibration) is an ideal storage condition for the aging of all types of wine—red, white, pink, bubbly, fortified, dessert, etc. I’m not sure why someone would say otherwise, except that most people overlook aging their white wines.

It’s true that most wines are made in a style where they are enjoyable upon release, and perhaps this is extra true of white wines, which are often appreciated for their fresh fruit flavors and vibrant acidities—two things that will fade over time. Even though most wines are tasty upon release, some are built to evolve into mature wines that are also appealing, for fans of mature wines, at least. You might not like them, and that’s perfectly OK.

It’s true that I drink most of my white wines young, but I’ve tried some really lovely older white with some age, and even some really terrific aged bubbly.

—Dr. Vinny

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