What does ageing your wine mean?
Ageing a bottle of wine means that you are deciding to place a bottle of wine into storage, usually over a number of years. If ageing is carried out correctly it can help you to create new and exquisite flavours within the wine.
Interestingly only 1% of all wine in the world should, in fact, be aged. So, it’s hardly a surprise the romanticism within the wine industry surrounding aged wine, considering both its rarity and the way it can transport you to a special moment in time.
Which wine can I age?
So, how do we choose which wine to age?
Unfortunately, there are no quick, easy solutions, as often each wine has different rules that dictate how long you should age it. Generally speaking, only truly ‘premium’ bottles of wine will benefit from ageing. Wine under thirty pounds, as a very, very broad rule of thumb, is best consumed now.
To help make the choosing less strenuous, we recommend taking a trip to see your local wine merchant, who will be able to guide you. Or you could invest in a wine education course, provided by our brilliant partners WSET, to enhance your wine knowledge.
How do you store your wine ageing?
Now you have chosen your wine and you know it’s suitable for ageing. But how do you store it?
This may seem obvious, but the temperature at which your wine is stored is vital. Wine should be stored between 7° and 18° Centigrade, with ideal humidity levels standing between 50% and 8%. A wine cellar is naturally optimal for storage, and although not every household can facilitate one…we can dream. Our partners, Sorrells, are experts in creating unique, bespoke wine rooms and cellars. You can even design your own custom wine room with their interactive wine cellar builder.
Until you’re ready to invest in the wine room of your dreams, you can try and recreate these conditions, for instance in an unused cupboard where you can control the conditions by keeping it cool and dark.
Finally, a really simple tip is to store your wine bottles on their side. As well as being space efficient, this will help keep the cork from drying out. Exceptions to this are some non-vintage Ports and Madeira wines. There’s usually a diagram on the back label to help you.
Taking a sip of a well-aged wine, like breathing in the sweet scent of a family cake recipe, can have the extraordinary ability to allow you to relive a past memory or moment. If done right, the process of ageing wine can transform it, offering complex new flavours and textures.
Simply follow our beginners guide to ageing wine and you will soon find yourself with an envious collection of aged wine that you’ll enjoy for years to come.