Wine Ageing

A lot of wines are drunk when they are too young, even though German white and red wines are best suited for aging. In many cases, top wines only reach their ideal maturity after some years of ageing. Together with the fruit acids, the mixture of alcohol and sugar helps to preserve the wine. Red wines, which are mostly mellow, are particularly suitable for ageing because of the tanning agent. The cellar master influences the process of ageing by carefully adding sulfur to the maturing wine. While high quality wines are very suited for ageing, red wines often need several years until the tanning agent or the barrique note have combined harmoniously with the wine. The same goes for acidic white wines and the Riesling in particular.

Usually, quality wines are suitable for immediate consumption. Cabinet wines and late vintage wines however, can mature for several years. Choice wines can even age for several decades without losing quality. At auctions, it is not uncommon to find wines dating from the 19th century.

Mature wines make great surprise gifts for big anniversaries, for example. It can be difficult, however, to find such precious vintages in wineries. So, it is recommended that lovers of aged wines set up a wine cellar of their own. There, the wines can be stored flat at a preferably constant temperature of 8 – 12 °C. Strong variations in the temperature can hinder the continuous maturing of the wine. The cellar room should be dark and have a humidity of 50 to 70 percent to prevent the corks from drying up. You can also buy special wine racks with temperature control.


 

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