You surely have already heard that some of the wines must be tasted “young” while some other are better “aged”. What do those terms really means and how to tell the difference?
There’s a simple definition…
A “young” wine is recently bottled. An “aged” wine is set for some years already. Ageing a bottle means opening it when the quality is the best.
… with a technical life cycle.
You can taste a bottle over time and see its evolution: The wines are living!
A wine matures and gets better in contact of the oxygen through the cork. At some point this micro-oxygenation makes the quality of the wine to reach a peak. Some of the wines take lesser time to age and some others take longer time to age.
The complexity is then to know when to open a bottle…
If you keep the bottle longer, the air inhibits the best features of the wine. It becomes too aged and you just missed the best part of it.
The difference in tastes over time
Most of all it is a matter of intensity and balance of savors.
A young white wine is characterized by an acidic savor while a young red wine is richer in tannins. The tannins give this astringent flavor in mouth.
For an aged red wine, this bitter sensation fades with time as the texture of the wine becomes more gentle and pleasant. An aged white wine will develop a richer sugary texture.
The difference in colors over time
A young white wine will have a light yellow color that will be more intense while ageing. A mature white wine has a golden tint, while when it becomes too old it turns amber.
A young red wine is not necessarily red, it is actually hints of purple. Later with time, at maturity, it will clear into ruby. An over aged red wine will take the full shades between red brick to brown.
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