How long should you stack your wine in your wine storage?

Aug, 12 , 20 | Daniel Katcher
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  • Aug, 12 , 20
  • Daniel Katcher

Hopefully, by now, we all know that wine needs to be stored on its side, so the wine remains in contact with the cork, preventing it from drying out over time. But how long should your wine lay down for? We at Winebars™ want to break down which wines to drink now and which to stack for a few years. When tasting wine and assessing if it will be better with some age, the first thing you should check is the acid. The acid in wine is what makes your mouth water. Think of what happens when you eat a lemon versus when you have a glass of milk. When studying wine, one often refers to the "drip test." It's not pretty, but it's a good way to assess the level of acid in a wine. We will divert for a second to explain. Next time you open a wine. Swirl it around your mouth, swirl it around in your mouth and swallow, hold your head straight down over the sink and count the seconds until you drool... the faster you drool, the more acid there is in the wine. Ok, back to the age-worthiness of wines. Just as grapes lose acidity, the longer they are on the vine, wine also loses acidity over time, so if you don't start with a high acid wine, the longer you wait, the flatter it will become. Some of the most age-worthy white wines are:

  • Chardonnay
  • Semillon
  • Riesling
  • Chenin Blanc

 Wine Storage for red wine.

When you move on to red wines, you need to look at the tannins and feel tannins on your gums. Swirl the wine around and feel the drying sensation. Think if you have ever tasted a robust black tea, same affect. Tannins can come from the grape seeds and skins, and from the oak used on the wine. There is also tannin powder, but let's not go down that road. Over time tannins polymerize (stick together) and soften. If you have a young big, bold Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, for example, it can be a punch of tannin that feels more like you need to chew your wine rather than drink it. That same wine ten years down the road will be more velvety and smooth. When decanting an old wine, it is generally done over a candle so the pourer can see the sediment collecting in the shoulder and stop pouring, so you don't get any bits in your glass. The most age-worthy red wines are:

  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Barolo/Barbaresco (made from Nebbiolo)
  • Zinfandel
  • Red Burgundy (Pinot Noir)

 

Present in both red and white wines are the fruit aromas and flavors. In a young wine, you should get ripe, fresh, juicy fruit notes. Over time the fruit will evolve and become more jammy or stewed fruit. If you don't start with good fruit over time, you will end up with a wine that falls flat on the nose and palate. What is the least age-worthy wine? It's rosé. Rosé is meant to be drunk young. Any older than 3 years and probably past it's prime. Another crucial component is the storage of the wine. We already discussed it must be stored on its side, but there are other factors at play. Did you know that your average refrigerator is too cold for long term wine storage? Wine should be kept at a cool and constant temp, but not too cool. 55 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal. Find a cool spot in the house and store it in the closet, wine also does not like a light! Now, you have picked a suitable storage location, you've got a balanced wine that meets all of the above criteria, so which vintages are drinking best right now? According to Wine Enthusiast, here are some of the highlights of US vintages from the last 10 years. If you have a bottle or see a bottle, open it up!

 

Our recommendations to have in your wine storage

2010 

California Central Coast Pinot Noir
New York Long Island Reds

 

2011
California North Coast Syrah
Southern Oregon Reds

 

2012
Most California and New York wines!

2013

Napa Zinfandel
Russian River Valley Chardonnay
Sonoma Pinot Noir

 

2014
Sonoma Zinfandel
Carneros Chardonnay
Central Coast Chardonnay

 

2015
Oregon Willamette Valley White Wine
Finger Lakes White Wine
Long Island Whites

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Patrick R McCarty

Aug 12 ,2020

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