The Illusion of Aged Wine

This post may depress you if you believe that a wine definetely gets better as it rests in the bottle for years.  In fact, not all of the wines in the market are suitable for aging.  Besides, buying a bottled wine and not opening it for years does not mean aging a wine. If you have a wine that has a potential for aging, you may of course trey to age it at home, but this would not be so easy.

It is useful to know the conditions required for maintanence of wine at home. Since it has not been a long time since a began to buy and to drink wine, I remember how useful it was to me. I do not have a wine cooler yet (I hope I will get it as a gift one day 🙂 ) and therefore, I do not age wines for years (for now), but it is still usefull to know the best conditions for the wine even if you keep it only for a few months.

One of the necessary conditions is dark surroundings, which means that you should keep away from wines that are displayed in the extremely highlighted display of a store. If you buy wine in Bozcaada, you should avoid leaving it at the back seat of the car under the sun.

Another point to consider is to keep wine away from vibration (may be due to loud voice) or shake. You may not have any alternative other than carying the wine bottles in your car (which will more or less shake them), but you may at least remember to take them out of the car and to not carry them with you to work and home for weeks.

It is also very important to lay the bottle horizontally, but I notice that most of the stores do not pay attention to this. It is probably because they sell all the wines in a short period so that none of stays there more than a few weeks. The cork must stay wet and must prevent air leakage. Remember that the cork actually has a shelf life as well and may get moldy sometimes.

In addition to that, wine bottles should be maintainted in an environment with humidity of 70% and with a steady temperature of 10 – 18 degrees (C). I do not know much about humidity but I think a normal home may have it around 70%. When it comes to temperature, I can say that it is never below 20 degrees in a regular apartment in Istanbul. Considering that it reachs around 35 degrees in summer and 25 degrees in winter in apartments with central heating, It appears to me that it is difficult to maintain the necessary temperature.

In short, if you can not maintain the optimum conditions, it is the easiest way for you to buy wines to be consumed rather young. If you buy your wine from supermarkt or grocery shop, you probably end up with such young wines anyway. Most of the producers in Turkey put explanation on how long to age the wine on the bottle. Paying attention to them would make it easier for you.

If you have a wine which needs to be aged and if you do not have a wine refrigerator to maintain the best conditions, giving the wine to someone as present may be a good choice 🙂 If you insist to keep it, you may try to keep it in a dark corner of you home. You may try to close down the heating in that room. This brings you to the question of when to drink it. Since I have not any experience with a wine kept at home for more than a few months, I will leave you alone with this question at this point.