Guide to Cellar Wine

Wine and Ageing

As wines age they are expected to change in texture, flavour profiles and increase in complexity. Ageing is a very unpredictable process in terms of how the wine will evolve and the time it takes to do so. There are however some tips to get you started.

First of all, a wine needs to be intrinsically good to be worthy and capable of ageing – why bother cellaring a Beaujolais Nouveau when it is made only to consume within the next few months? Some wines are made in a drink-young style even though the quality is great, while others shine with various lengths of ageing. There are also wines that can be kept for several years but do not benefit with ageing – they are not going 'off' any time soon but flavour profiles and complexity do not evolve (such as non-vintage Champagne). You would not want to cellar a poor quality wine to begin with either, although the wine may improve with time it may not be worthwhile (in this case any exception comes with love being the only excuse!)

Proper storage of your elixir collection is one of the most crucial parts of ageing.

WineCellaring

Keep them away from light and heat.

WineCellaring

Store at a constant temperature between 10-15°C with moderate humidity (approximately 70-75%) so the corks do not dry out and invite oxygen sneaking into the bottles.

WineCellaring

Although the mechanisms remain unknown and can only be related to the magical properties of wine chemistry, cellaring the wines in a vibration-free space is definitely preferred to allow positive ageing to take place.

Wines mature at different rates depending on grape variety, style and vintage years. The level of acidity and tannins which are the results of these conditions greatly determine whether the wines can be cellared and for how long. In general, the lower the wine pH (hence high acidity), the longer the wine can be stored and evolve. Even a very modest Riesling can be cellared for many years due to the high acidity of the variety. Very tannic wines are not suitable for drinking young – instead, ageing becomes essential to soften the tannin structures so they are round and velvety in the mouth.

If you are ever unsure how long your bottles should be cellared before enjoying them, you can always call us on 1300 226 835 or email us on enquiries@unitedcellars.com.au.