In contrast to bottle aging, under which one only summarizes all positive changes during the development of a wine up to the climax, aging also means all negative changes up to the "end of life". Already in antiquity, attempts have been made to produce aging-resistant wines in order to improve their taste through longer storage. Artificial aging by heating or smoking was also common, of which the Greek doctor Galen (129-216) reports. In the Bible it is mentioned that old wine should be given preference over young wine, in Luke Gospel 5.37 Jesus says: And nobody who has drunk old wine likes new ones. The Greeks and Romans recognized that wines with high sugar content can be stored for a long time when stored in a cool place. The best ancient wines, like the famous Roman Falernian, were sealed in amphorae made of clay and only reached its peak after many years. With the decline of the Roman Empire, the art of conservation was forgotten again.
Until the late Middle Ages, very simple wine was mostly produced in Europe, which had to be enjoyed within a few months, otherwise it would angry or too vinegar was or spoiled. There were very few exceptions, for example the Riesling wines stored in large barrels in the cellars of the mansions and the fortified ones Sweet wines in the Mediterranean. The production of aging wines was initiated from the 16th century, especially in England, by the need for Bordeaux and port wine. At this time, the expansion in Barrique common. But only with the advent of bottles and cork in the 17th century it became possible to produce long storable and expandable wines in large quantities. To the (with restriction) just edible oldest wines counted a 421 year old Würzburger at that time stone and a 186 year old 1811er, However, these are unique exceptions.
Compared to many other beverages, wine has the potential property of maturing in taste and quality over time until it finally reaches its peak. One can already do this beforehand maturity have been achieved, both terms are by no means to be understood as “on the cut-off date” and can also be understood as equivalent. The complex life cycle begins immediately after fermentation and is under bottle aging described in detail. An often asked question is how long a wine stays at its peak. A simple rule of thumb says: Usually as little as it took to achieve it. Contrary to the opinion often expressed, a qualitative improvement through aging does not take place in principle, but is only reserved for good wine qualities. A distinction must also be made between aging and expandability. For example, a wine may be aging, but does not necessarily have to improve.
An expandable wine must have a certain shelf life in order to develop. In addition to the properties of the wine that are required for this, the environmental conditions during storage play an important role in long-term storage. A darker, cooler one is ideal wine cellar with a temperature as uniform as possible between 10 and 15 ° C and one humidity between 70 and 80%. A tight seal is also a prerequisite to prevent uncontrolled, oxidative processes. Small quantities oxygen play an important role in the aging process. The amount of oxygen intake depends on the type of closure, Screw caps are, for example, up to a factor of four denser than cork,
A prerequisite for the ability to age is a balanced ratio between ideally higher alcohol, as well as sugar and acidity. Wines from botrytis Berries are usually high sweetness and thus potential for a long time durability, Red wines tolerate and generally require more oxygen than white wines. The oxygen quantities required for the maturation of red wine are targeted through cellar-technical measures such as taps over air, storage in wooden barrels or micro-oxygenation fed. White wines (and also rosé wines) are relatively sensitive to oxidation when compared to red wines, although the time of oxygen uptake plays a decisive role. Oxidation of the must, for example, is conducive to later shelf life. After filtration However, uncontrolled oxygen intake has a negative effect on the aroma, freshness and shelf life of white wines.
During the storage of white wines there is a gradual decay varietal Fruit flavors. These can be different Age tones how firn (Altersfirn) UTA. sulfurous off (Lagerböckser) or petrol tone can be superimposed, particularly quickly in wines emphasized by fruit. Most of the time, however, is produced for fast consumption, so that the ability to age does not matter. This type of wine is often best in the tank, remains after bottling at best, straightforward for a few months, fruity and tasty and finally breaks down relatively quickly. The effects on aging are higher residual sugar and lower PH value positive. Red wine carries high levels of phenolic substances such as anthocyanins. tannins and vanillin to expand ability in what im Barrique through the im Oak wood contained tannins is reinforced.
When storing oxidation can be prevented, which requires a tight cork or other good closure if necessary. The small amount of oxygen in the bottle neck is enough to have a positive influence on the development (this is also practiced when bottling) inert gas to fill). larger bottles with a multiple of 0.75 liters like Magnum (1.5 liters), double magnum (3 liters) or even more slow down the ripening process, but favor it positively. This is mainly practiced with Bordeaux and Burgundy wines. With wines like sherry or port wine the aging ability is increased enormously by appropriate techniques. This is done for example by Spriten reached (addition of alcohol). spirits and sparkling wines In contrast to still wines, they generally do not benefit from bottle storage, the development of which is usually completed with bottling.
The shelf life and expandability can be decades, in some cases even 100 years and more. This mainly depends on the degree of ripeness of the grapes (see below maturation and physiological maturity ) and vinification. Certain grape varieties are particularly suitable for such wines. For example, these are the white varieties Chardonnay. Chenin Blanc. Furmint. Petit Manseng. Riesling and Green Valtellina and the red varieties Aglianico. Baga. Cabernet Sauvignon. kadarka. Merlot. Nebbiolo. Pinot Noir. Plavac Mali. Sangiovese. Saperavi. Syrah. Tannat. Xinomavro and Zinfandel, According to the wine regulations, which vary greatly from region to region, many wines are only sold after a long barrel and / or bottle aging (Months to years).
However, the “ideal” age of enjoyment or the “highlight” of a wine at exactly the “right” time (month / year) cannot of course be predicted exactly. However, an estimate with a certain range is very possible, for example "in four to five years". More and more producers are already saying this on the bottle label. In individual wine guides such as Wein-Plus there is a forecast of the probably best drinking period. But this is by no means a clear one shelf life available, but only provides information about the period in which a wine is likely to present itself most advantageously with normal storage. An indication of the year means that a wine will probably be in good shape at least until the end of the specified year. Even with the greatest experience, however, this information remains estimates. There can always be positive and negative surprises, especially since the development strongly depends on the storage and environmental conditions.
As already mentioned, according to the international trend, a considerable proportion of wines are produced today (especially white wines) bottling should be drunk within one to a maximum of two years. That means these wines already ready to drink are unsuitable for prolonged storage if they are brought onto the market by the producer. The controversial technique of artificial aging is also practiced today. This includes heating, forcing oxidation, shaking the bottles and irradiation with ultrasound. The questions as to whether substances are broken down over time or which changes in taste result, are answered under bottle aging treated. See also on the topic below vintage. Wine of the century. Neuverkorkung. wine review. Weingenuss and wine temperature,