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Questions from the Cellar Door: When To Drink Wine

Meeting people from all over the world at the Cellar Door leads to intriguing conversations and questions. A little research uncovers answers and interesting tidbits of information, and this seems an appropriate place to share what we learn.

Answer: We think any time is a good time to drink wine!

Ohhh…. that wasn’t the question.

More precisely: how do you know when it’s the right time in a wine’s life cycle to drink it? For example, why do we drink Sauvignon Blanc within a few years of bottling while some Riesling and Chardonnay can be put away for years?

To answer the question, we looked to the New Zealand Wine Society and found an excellent, easy-to-understand explanation.

Main points to bear in mind:

  • Wine is a living thing, which means it will continue to change over time.
  • Most Kiwis are purchasing wines that they will drink that day.
  • Most unoaked whites are best enjoyed young, while cellaring of richer whites can develop wonderful notes with bottle age.
  • The majority of NZ and Aussie reds are fine to drink straight away but may reward cellaring with further complexity in savoury, leathery notes.
  • If you decide to cellar wines, pay attention to the environment, making sure it is cool, dark and the wine won’t be disturbed.

Getting to know a few general characteristics of wine is all it takes to be able to judge their lifespan. Read the full article (link below) for all the details so you’ll know just when to enjoy that bottle.


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