How Can You Tell if a Young Wine Will Age?

Wednesday, 4 October, 2017
Wine Enthusiast, Paul Gregutt
Find out how the “second-day test” can give you a clue into whether a vintage of a wine is worthy of the cellar or best enjoyed at your next dinner party.

We’ve given you plenty of advice on how to purchasecellar and preserve wine, but how can you determine a young wine’s ability to age?

For most people, wine is consumed shortly after purchase. But suppose you find one that you really like, and you’d like to stockpile some bottles for the future. How can you tell a wine’s prime drinking window?

Even with wines purchased specifically for cellaring, it’s always a good idea to open a bottle immediately so you can establish that first impression and feel out its long-term prospects. You don’t want to drink your entire stash while the wine is still developing, but also you also don’t want those bottles to fall off the proverbial cliff before you’ve enjoyed them either.

Over the course of many years and thousands of wine reviews, I’ve found some tricks to help answer the question of ageability.

Carefully consider the grape or blend, the region and reputation of the producer and/or vineyard, and characteristics of the vintage. General wisdom says young red wines will age better than their young white counterparts. But sweet white wines and aromatic white wines may outlast many reds. Chenin BlancsRieslings and Chardonnays, for example, can develop beautifully over many years.

How to Use the Second-Day Test to Determine Aging

Open that first bottle, pour yourself a generous glass and immediately put the cork (or screw the cap) back on the bottle. Do not use any pump or preservative.

To read more online, click here.

Thomas Davidson

Thomas joined in May 2019 after graduating from Stellenbosch University with a BA in History & Ancient Cultures and completing a certificate in Business Management and Entrepreneurship at the Graduate School in Stellenbosch. He moonlights as a radio presenter at MFM - and has an incredible passion for wine. 
We are delighted to have him on the team.