The Ins and Outs of Wine Aging

Aging wine is long since practiced by wine loves and connoisseurs alike. Indeed, wine aging is an art and science that changed the taste and the quality of a wine. This process has a long history that can be trace generations and generations ago with ancient people and civilization. It’s more like a part of the culture rather than a practice.

Today, aging wine is far more unique and advanced, but some age their wine using traditional practices. There’s no better feeling can compare to turning your newly produced wine into a mature tastier for you to enjoy.

We have teamed up with wine storage experts, Dunavox GB, to help give you a better understanding of the process.

Wine Aging

Wine Aging is a process that tends to improve the flavor and taste of a wine over time. You can call it a fermentation process, and the wine goes through various treatments like malolactic fermentation, clarifications, and other processes. It takes time to age wine. The longer it takes, the better. Some cheap wines on the market are aged approximately 6 months, while the classy and pricey ones are aged for more than 10 years. 

The main purpose of wine aging is to produce high quality and tastier wine. It elevates the flavor and enhances the wine’s color. This process might be more complicated in reality. If it is done incorrectly, it will greatly affect the wine’s overall quality, or worse, the wine could get spoiled. 

Here all you need to know about the ins and outs of wine aging, what are the changes in wine due to aging, and the other process in how to age a wine correctly and effectively. 

Changes after Maturation and Aging

Many changes will happen during the aging phase that leads to significant changes in the wine. The changes happen over time. Some changes can be subtle and so small with a barely noticeable impact on the wine. The most noticeable change in the wine attributes is their color. For example, a white wine color becomes golden, orange, and red colors replace red wine, purple, and violet tints. The other noticeable change is their aroma, and it becomes a more complex, smooth, and pleasing aroma. The wine’s taste also changes into a much rounder and smoother taste. These changes will greatly affect the overall quality of the wine.

Changes in Color

One of the greatest wine attributes is their color, much more vibrant color will give more appeal to the wine. Preserve a bottle of wine can change its color, these changes can be subtle, and in some cases is only small. If the color of the wine changes over time, meaning to say the oxidation process is successful. 

In red wines, it will develop a bright red with purple tint color. This is due to monomeric anthocyanin pigments extracted from the grape skin during fermentation. This is an organic process. However, the oxidation rate has something to do with this process. 

The process is almost the same, but in white wine, if the oxidation process takes too long, it will turn to brown rather than golden color. Store the white wine correctly to reduce the risk of full oxidation.

Changes in Flavor

The flavor of the whine dramatically changes over time. The wine becomes smoother, mellower, and richer flavor. If the wine has been stored correctly, it will achieve a classier taste, and if not stored correctly, a musky and unpleasant taste can be experienced, or much worst, the wine will spoil. 

There are different levels of changes that will happen in each process. If you want to achieve a certain taste, you’ll have to wait more time as this process happens naturally. Another factor that greatly affects the taste of a wine is the loss of acidity. The acidity level enhances the taste making it much more mellow and less astringent taste to it. 

Taste is the number one factor that affects the overall quality of a wine. The more pleasant the taste, the more the price will be. Wine aging is a long process that requires a lot of hard work and patience. Over time, these wines will age, and you can bear the fruits of your hard labour. It transforms a young whine into a mature with a more classic taste sought by wine lovers. 

Changes in Aroma

During the aging process, you will see a significant change in wine aroma. These include the loss of a certain smell like yeasty aroma that is produced by the grapefruit. You can smell some new changes in the wine, like harmonious and pleasing fragrance. A young wine aroma has a fresh and fruity aroma, while a matured wine has a smoother and mildly fruity aroma.

Factors that Affect the Process of Wine Aging

Many factors affect the process of wine aging. Each of these factors is crucial in cannot be overlooked. It depends on these factors in what will be the outcome of the maturing phase. 

Oxidation

Oxidation plays an important role in wine maturation. Without proper oxidation, the outcome would be very unpleasant. These changes include the overall quality and the development of the wine. The oxidation process changes the color and aroma of the wine. 

Light Exposure

Light Exposure is another key factor in wine aging. For example, if you expose a bottle of wine to ultraviolet light or radiation, it produces an oxidative reaction. 

Temperature

The temperature is also important in wine aging. The temperature will affect the speed of the aging process. For instance, some wines like white wine need to be stored at cooler cellar temperature to prevent rapid aging and loss of quality. And some wines need a higher and elevated temperature to produce more taste and aroma quality. 

These three factors are critical and should be well-thought-out through the full aging process. If followed correctly, a good and classy well-aged wine is to be expected. 

RHC’s Spirited Holiday Gift Guide

Whether you’re searching for the perfect gift or looking to make a new addition to your home bar cart, you can’t go wrong with any of the labels on our list.

For the Coffee Lover: Mr Black

Mr Black Single Origin Ethiopia returns to Ethiopia, coffee’s spiritual home where the beans originate. To produce the new expression, Mr Black partners with growers that positively impact local Ethiopian farmers and communities. The bottle’s striking design makes it a statement addition to any home bar cart. Buy directly on Mr Black’s website.

RHC’s digital director Nick Papa uses Mr Black to make the Cold Fashioned. “I first discovered coffee cocktails at Milk & Honey. They’re like drinking a dessert. I’ll never make a cocktail as well as the late great Sasha Petraske did, but Mr Black’s intentionally simple Cold Fashioned recipe is easy to follow at home with just three ingredients.” 

For the Whiskey Lover: Laws Whiskey

Living by the ethos “no shortcuts,” Laws Whiskey House exclusively uses heirloom, heritage Colorado grain to distill and ferment its whiskey. Gift the taste of Colorado with their special four-pack, which features four expressions: Four Grain Straight Bourbon, San Luis Valley Straight Rye, Centennial Straight Wheat Whiskey, and Henry Road Straight Malt Whiskey. On their website, you’ll find links to Drizly, Caskers, and more retailers that deliver Laws.

RHC’s Senior Account Supervisor Jill Pedrani uses it for Hot Toddies (or drinking neat – whatever your preference), “If I’m being honest, I’m not much of a rye drinker. My palate generally tends towards bourbons and blends, but Laws’ San Luis Valley Straight Rye has me thinking differently. It’s a harmonious balance of spice and flavor that goes down easily neat or over ice. For the holidays though, try it in a Hot Toddy – I used Stash Green Chai tea to really amp up the spicy notes.”

For the Gin Lover: Salcombe Gin

Is there any better gift this winter than an all-natural pink gin that transports us to the Mediterannean? Salcombe Gin boasts fragrant notes of fresh lemon peel and Provence herbs, making it delicate, fresh, and truly exquisite. On their website, you’ll find links to Drizly, Caskers, and more retailers that deliver Salcombe Gin.

For the Music Lover: BLACKENED American Whiskey

This is a gift that really rocks: a masterful collaboration between the late Dave Pickerell and rock legend Metallica. For the first time, whiskey lovers and Metallica fans can collect a limited-edition box set commemorating Batch 100 of the award-winning BLACKENED American Whiskey. It features two 12” vinyl picture discs of the Metallica playlist selected by master distiller Rob Dietrich, which was used during the BLACK NOISE sonic enhancement process. Order the box set on their website.

For the Whiskey Expert Who Has Tried it All: Abasolo Whisky

Even the most seasoned whiskey expert will be pleasantly surprised this holiday season with Abasolo Ancestral Corn Whiskey: the first 100% Mexican corn whiskey. Using a 4,000-year-old traditional process called nixtamalization, local farmers distill the whiskey from the finest, non-GMO Cacahuazintle corn. Head to their website to learn where to buy near you.

For the History Lover: Hochstadter’s Slow & Low

The ultimate throwback, Hochstadter’s Slow & Low Rock and Rye is a nod to America’s original pre-bottled cocktail. Made with straight aged rye whiskey, air-dried Florida oranges, Pennsylvania raw honey, a small dose of rock candy, and a dash of angostura bitters, this 84-proof mixture comes in a gift pack with a bottle and portable 100 ml cans. Shop directly on their website.

For the Tequila Lover: El Tequileño 

Founded in 1959 by legendary pioneer Don Jorge Salles Cuervo, El Tequileño is an iconic tequila. With the finest raw ingredients, such as blue agave from Los Altos de Jalisco, and mineral-rich spring water from El Volcan de Tequila, you can be sure you’re gifting the best tequila around. Head to their website to learn where to buy near you.

During the holidays, RHC’s senior director Amanda Watenberg uses El Tequileño Reposado Gran Reserva to make Abuelita’s Hot Chocolate. “This is the perfect drink to cap off a holiday gathering with close friends and family. You can do more with tequila than serve margaritas! El Tequileno Reposado Gran Reserva plays super nice with the Ancho Reyes and takes the hot chocolate up a notch with a kick of spice. It’s one of my favorites, and it is so easy to craft.”

For the Irish Whiskey Aficionado: Knappogue Castle Irish Whiskey

Go for Knappogue’s signature expression: the 12-year Knappogue Castle. It’s an exceptional single malt made exclusively from malted barley. Head to their website to learn where to buy near you.

New York bar legend Ms. Franky Marshall uses Knappogue in her holiday cocktail creation called Golden Days. “This cocktail is meant to evoke the memory of enjoying whiskey-soaked pears during the holidays,” she says of the drink with 12-year Knappogue Castle, pear brandy, chai tea, honey syrup, and nutmeg.

For the Vodka Lover: Absolut Elyx

Absolut Elyx is the handcrafted luxury expression of the award-winning Absolut Vodka brand. Made with soft winter wheat from a single estate in Åhus, Sweden, and manually distilled in a 1921 copper column, Absolut Elyx removes all impurities and produces an exceptionally silky finish. Head to their website for links to Drizzly and more where you can buy online, and don’t miss the Absolut Elyx Boutique for the brand’s signature copper gifts and barware.