HOW LONG SHOULD I KEEP A WINE?
I was disappointed the other day when opening a bottle of German white which I'd kept from 1986 until 2005. It was of "Kabinett" quality, from Lorch, in the Rheingau. At its peak this wine was outstanding; a petrolly, fruity, honeyed bouquet and a wonderful flavour.
I carefully decanted it (surprisingly, there was quite a lot of sediment), washed out the bottle, poured the wine back, and tried a small glass. It was golden yellow and smelt peculiar - almost like sherry. It was almost undrinkable. There was no way I could give it to my guests.
To minimise the damage, I poured it into the decanter again and back into the bottle, to let in some air, and left it overnight. The peculiar aroma was still there, but weaker.
I left it for a further five days on a cold stone floor, and by this time the odd aroma had almost diappeared, and some bouquet had returned. You could tell how good this wine would have been if it had been used at the right time. I was reminded of what an old friend told me - when opening a really good wine, it often improves after opening for as many days as its age in years. But there was no disguising that it would have been better to drink this one too young than too late.
After another five days, the wine was almost back to normal. Not quite, but very good nevertheless.
Here's what others have said. Look at their websites for more information; their articles on this topic are excellent.
Lake Ridge winery, Florida (www.lakeridgewinery.com)
Techniques in vinification have changed enormously in the last fifteen years. It can be very depressing to drink a wine which has been kept too long, and we have always believed that it is better to drink a wine a little too young and allow it to develop in the glass, rather than keep it in the hope that it might be better later.
....we are also concerned that some of our customers are keeping their White Burgundies far too long...
Corney and Barrow (www.corneyandbarrow.com)
Robin Garr of www.wineloverspage.com:
Like everything else, wine has a finite lifespan. Mature wine is a delight. Wine held too long is wasted. It is a shame to devote years of effort to cellaring only to have your wine die in the bottle because you didn't enjoy it when it was ready.
Compiled by N.D., Diversity website
|Cosby Methodist Church|
|Links to other sites|