Aging wine – Is it better to drink it early or to wait and let it die?
So you just bought this $50 bottle of wine and the cork dork behind the counter tells you that it is great now but will be amazing in another couple of years. What? Really? This is when the angel and the devil on my shoulders pop out.
Devil says: But I want to open it now!
Angel: But what if I am missing out on an amazing wine simply because I am too impatient to wait? Is it worth drinking a great wine now when I could experience an amazing wine later?
In my experience, most wines available to us consumers are ready to drink right now. And while, certainly, some bottles might be even more amazing with a few years in the bottle this implies that we are storing the wine in its ideal conditions. You know: perfect temperature control, humidity at its ideal setting, limited exposure to light and all that. Even if with all of those factors being controlled I can think of no bigger let down then my $50 bottle of wine that I actually used restraint on and stored perfectly while twiddling my thumbs and anxiously waiting for the perfect time to open it only to find that when I finally popped the cork, the wine had “died”.
According to Matt Kramer of Wine Spectator, “In recent years it's become obvious that an ever greater number of wines that once absolutely required extended aging no longer do.”
“The bottom line: Today's wines are far more drinkable, far more gratifying, far more rewarding when drunk younger than their counterparts of 20 years ago.”
And right then and there I have just the right amount of ammunition for the devil on my shoulder to look smugly at the angel while she pops the cork on that $50 bottle of wine.