The Older the Better

A common misconception is that all wines will improve with age and that a wine’s capacity for aging is unlimited.

An easy to understand classic is the rosé lover. They buy cases of rosé while on vacation and then put it down in the cellar, not with an actual intention of aging it, but for having an endless supply of rosé wines for summers to come.

Rosé is a good example of wines that do not improve with time. They are meant to be consumed young. The younger the better in this case. The fact that they are bottled into clear glass bottles is proof of the makers intention. There are, of course, a few exceptions in the world, but the general rule for rosé is that it is made to be consumed young and it will become dull with time.

Then, what happens to the rosé lower who brings down cases of their favourite rosé into the cellar, and then open up the same vintage summer after summer. Well, they start to like it less and less, since the primary fruit aromas quickly disappear from the wine, leaving it dull and tasteless.

The majority of wines produced today are like rosé in the way that they are meant to be consumed young. With a market screaming for easy-drinking, approachable wines (white as well as reds), and with no end in sight, the producers are happy to supply the market with wines lacking in structure, but with a lot of fresh, flirty fruit. Cheap wines that are drinkable only months after picking.

And there is nothing wrong with that, as long as people realise that wines like this, are not meant to be brought down into the cellar or even forgotten in the cupboard, they will not improve with time. For a wine to be ageable, it needs many components to help it stand up to the test of time; tannins, acidity, structure, alcohol and most importantly, a flavour profile that will actually benefit from further ageing.

Few wines today are made for ageing since few people have the patience to age their wine. Given that the majority of wines are made to be approachable when young, they will often instead become dull with time. So, before you bring your bottles down into the cellar or put it in the back of the cupboard, do some research, and make sure it is something worth ageing. And for everyone’s sake, if you have rosé that are older than three years, just pour it down the drain.