Drink now, or later? You might ponder of the red wines in your cellar…

Drink now, or later?

You might ponder of the red wines in your cellar…

At one of the wineries on our icewine tour last Sunday the question came up of aged wines… When to drink and not to drink.  Certainly not all wines are made for aging, with over 90% being made to enjoy within 1-2 years or as soon as you get home with the bottle. But there are those that can, and do live on for decades. Tips for Typical long lifers?

Opt for certain grape varieties or blends if looking to cellar your bottle; possibilities include big Barolos, or other wines made with the Nebbiolo grape, Bordeaux, big California Cabernets,  Syrahs from the Northern Rhone, great quality Shiraz such as Penfolds Grange to name a few…

Iconic Penfolds Grange

Do you prefer the taste and aromas of aged wines or ones with a longer lifespan ahead? Typically aged wines gain complexity, evolve with a bouquet of “tertiary aromas”, moving from the “fruitiness” more prevalent in the youth of the wine. Not everyone enjoys the more advanced aromas that come with aging.

When is the best time to open your bottle?  Best idea is to buy multiple bottles of the same, and watch and enjoy how each bottle changes, and evolves upon opening.

A word of caution, lots of folk’s hold on to their wines too long, and when that special occasion finally arrives, they have a bottle for salad dressing instead of their prime rib.

A final word we’d like to share. Last Sunday, during the Winter WineFest in Twenty Valley, Niagara our tour group was treated to something extremely special! Talk about aging wines, we had the opportunity to taste an icewine, over a decade old, that was stupendous! No wonder this 1999 Vidal Icewine from Vineland Estates captured the Grand VinItaly Award Gold Medal in 2003.

Here, those tertiary aromas and flavours were spellbinding, with multiple layers and complexity, fine acidity and with a glorious deep copper colour, aging your whites, another tale to tell coming soon.


Deep copper colour of 1999 Vidal Icewine

Deep copper colour of 1999 Vidal Icewine

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