Aging Wine

Making wine also means learning to have patience. Understanding that a good wine is produced by respecting the right time and the right aging. It is necessary then, to wait for the wine to reach the best moment of its life.

Let’s analyze what is the aging of red wines. The nectar of gods will therefore find the perfect environment for aging and getting richer.

Let’s talk about what is called “elevation”.  This term is simply used to explain what is the aging in the barrels. What happens during this kind of aging? Simply, we will observe some sort of synergy between wood and wine. Of course there are differences when we talk about big casks vs. barrique and/or tonneux.  Let’s briefly discuss them together.

Differences in carriers of wine

Large casks simply hold our wine and, as the surface in contact with the product is larger compared to the one of a barrique, which give less aromas to wines, therefore giving them more elegance and finesse.

In the specific case of barrique or tonneux, the exchange is more important. These kind of barrels, in fact, are smaller sized casks, as a consequence there is a higher interaction between wood and wine. Therefore there will be a higher possibility to obtain wines with a more pronounced tannin and, according to the wood used and the level of toasting, different types of aromas which will develop as years go by.

Aromas of wine

Let’s consider, for example, barriques made from American Oak, in this case vanilla will be the protagonist.

This is clearly just an example, we can actually discover that there are thousands of variables to be considered and, above all, the aromas that are perceived in a wine are something extremely subjective.

While proceeding in our short journey to discover the types of aging we must point out how casks and barriques lose their aromatic gifts. Year after year, passage after passage they will yield less and less to wine. We can say a barrique or a tonneaux have a cycle of use of about three passages.

We must also consider the presence of pores and micropores on the surface of the wood. These openings allow excellent oxygenation. The air entering and exiting allow the wine to stabilize itself, favoring its aging. The period needed for elevation varies from wine to wine. In the case of Chianti Classico, there are wines that can age for a long time, such as the ones from Radda in Chianti area. Here, in our area, wines are not in a hurry, therefore they can take their time in order to fully mature. In other cases, we can find wines that express themselves better when they are still young.

Aging time in the bottle

After the necessary time in cask, the wine is finally ready for the aging in bottle. What we get from this step is fundamental in order to stabilize wines.

The time spent in bottle will make wine finer and more elegant, making it harmonious in terms of aromas and smells.

Environment for wine aging

Another fundamental point to be stressed for what concerns the aging in bottle, as well as for the aging in cask, is surely the environment where the casks and/or bottles are located.

It is important to keep a constant temperature between 14° and 16° C (57° and 61° F) and scarce light. Wine does not like sudden changes of temperature.

Another rule to be followed for the aging in glass is to keep the bottle in a horizontal position. In this way the wine remains in contact with the cork, keeping it always humid and avoiding oxidation.

In case these simple rules are respected, you can also age your wines in the cellars of your houses.

You can easily see the point of aging a wine has reached by observing its color. In case of young red wines, purple will be the main color. Whereas a more mature wine will show a color tending to brick orange and then to a color tending to granite. In case of those whites which allow some kind of aging, we will observe a color tending to straw yellow when the wine is very young. As time goes by, we will notice the color will progressively become more and more golden.

Therefore do your experiments and try to age your wines in your homes and take note of how the wine evolves over time. Should you need a refresher on basic wine tasting tips, are looking for a place to have a wine tasting & degustation or need some food and wine pairings, look no further than Montemaggio. We would be happy to help you with all of these needs and more. Browse our fine organic Italian wines online here and contact us with any questions.

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