Tips and Tricks on Aging Wine

Bob Betz & Louis Skinner "Live @ 5 pm"

Bob & Louis tasted a few Betz library wines, provided tips on when to drink wines in your cellar, cellaring techniques, how to identify compromised wines, along with a variety of other interesting topics. The wines featured in this episode include:


Pére de Famille: 2010, 2016
La Serenne: 2003, 2011, 2017
La Côte Rousse: 2003, 2011, 2017

Drinkability recommendations are, at their best, a moving target. Individual preferences, storage conditions, food marriages, serving temperature and aeration/decanting time all affect how a wine is perceived as it ages. Your own palate should always be the final authority on when you serve any wine. While we craft our wines to develop with cellaring, they can be (and often are) enjoyed young, depending on one’s palate.

One of the greatest pleasures of making and consuming wine is seeing how it evolves in the glass, in the decanter, in the cellar and as it moves through its life in the bottle. It’s tempting to try to figure out when is “the perfect time” to drink a wine, more enjoyable is to simply open a bottle and taste it!

We suggest that whenever you decide to open a bottle, at any age, taste it first. If the wine seems “tight,” with some astringency on the pallet, you may wish to decant the wine to allow the aromas and flavors of natural fruit and oak to evolve with air contact, often making the wine feel smoother and more integrated.

As a general rule of thumb, if a wine is younger than 5 years from its vintage date you may wish to double-decant (pour it out of the bottle and right back in) and wait an hour or two before enjoying. If a wine is older than 5 years, you may wish to decant the wine or simply let the wine breathe in the bottle after opening and pouring a small amount. If the wine is 10+ years, you may not wish to decant at all as the bouquet can begin to diminish throughout the course of your meal.

Bottom line?

Taste first then decide!

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