Aging Wine

Why Should I Age My Wine?

The aging of wine will most likely improve the quality of wine. While wine is perishable and capable of deteriorating, acids, complex chemical reactions involving a wine's sugars and phenolic compounds, such as tannins, can alter the bouquet, color, texture and taste of the wine in a way that may be more pleasing to the taster. The ability of a wine to age is influenced by many factors including grape variety, vintage, vineyard culture, wine region and wine making style. The condition that the wine is kept in after bottling can also influence how well a wine ages.

How long can you keep a bottle of wine?

Unopened bottles of wine can typically be stored between 2-15 years depending on the wine. The following list provides some main types of wine and the approximate length of time wine should be aged for its optimal flavor. In general, more expensive wines are designed to be aged longer. Less expensive wines (usually under $10) should be consumed within six months to a year from purchase. Red wines generally age better than white wines because white wines don't have the tannins to keep for more than 18 months or so.

If your wine develops an off odor, flavor or appearance, it should be discarded for quality purposes.

Learn how long you can store wine before it's no longer drinkable

Type Of Wine

Approx. Cost

Age (from vintage date)

Cabernet Sauvignon

$12-15
$25 +

5-6 years
7-15 years

Merlot

$12-15
$25 +

5-6 years
7-15 years

Pinot Noir

$12-25

2-5 years

Syrah/Shiraz

$12-25

3-5 years

Chardonnay

$12-25

Consume within 5 years

California Riesling

$12-25

Consume within 3-4 years

Zinfandel

$12-25

2-5 years

Port

None Vintage

0-5 years

Port

Vintage

5-20 years

Sparkling Wines

None Vintage

0-2 years

Sparkling Wines

Vintage

5-8 years