While most wines are enjoyable when you buy them, a little patience before pulling the cork can make for an amazing transformation.
Some wines used to be so rough and raw that they needed years to calm down and become drinkable. While modern winemaking techniques mean that’s no longer the case, there are still plenty of reasons to drink certain wines later rather than sooner.
Those who haven’t seen what bottle age does to wine are missing out. Not all wines change for the better with time, but many, often surprisingly, do.
Young, boisterous, fruit-in-yer-face wines are all very well, but if you’ve never tried the mature and mellow side of wine, you’re missing out. Classic wines renowned for their keepability include port and red Bordeaux, but they’re not the only candidates for the cellar.
If the last glass of wine from a bottle tastes better than the first, then chances are it will improve with age. Wine merchants will also be able to advise on suitable wines – or try buying a case each of good Côtes du Rhône Villages and Australian Riesling, both of which should have a five-year lifespan.
The warmer the place you store your wine, the faster it will mature.
Do reds age better than whites?
Not necessarily – the best Rieslings, Sémillons and Chenin Blancs can be very long-lived.