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A Beginner’s Guide to Aging Wine (And Which Wines You Should Add to Your Wine Racks)

  • 2 min read

It’s true: aging wine is a long-term commitment. But, adding some quality wines to your wine racksand watching them improve over time can be very fulfilling! With that said, it can be a little intimidating for those not well-versed in the wine-aging process. 

What wines are best for aging? What actually happens when a wine ages? How long should you age your wine for? 

Don’t worry, we’ll answer all these questions in just a second! Keep reading on to learn more. 

What Happens to Wine When It Ages

Unlike most things, wine can get better with age. Aging is part of the wine-making process before wine is even bottled. Some red wines are aged for up to 2 years before bottling! 

Phenolic compounds (the most common being tannins) come from things like grape stems, seeds and skins. These compounds affect taste, colour and mouthfeel and are the main influences for chemical changes in wine over time. 

Most wines should be drunk right after bottling or within about 5 years. Other wines have a ‘sweet spot’ after being bottled which can be 10 or more years after.

The Best Type of Wines for Aging

Although there is no single explanation for what makes the best wine for aging, there are some accepted traits. 

The 4 common traits that make wine good for aging are:

  1. Higher sugar content
  2. Non-fortified wines with lower alcohol content
  3. Higher acidity 
  4. Tannin composition 

It should be noted that every wine producer and vintage is different, which will affect the aging process. Whatever wine you choose, make sure you store them with high-quality wine racks.

Aged Red Wines

Because the age structure of wine is linked to its tannins, red wines tend to be the best grape for aging. Wines like port, merlots and cabernet sauvignon are great reds to age. Merlots can even be aged for 50 years! The following are a few of our recommendations for great red wines to age:

  • Port (10-50)
  • Nebbiolo (15-40)
  • Sangiovese (10-30)
  • Cabernet Sauvignon (5-25)
  • Monastrell (7-20)
  • Merlot (3-15)
  • Malbec (5-10)

Although these are a few of the best red wines for aging, we always recommend doing your research before purchasing!

Aged White Wines

In general, White Wines tend to not be as good for aging as red wines. With that said, there are a few we can recommend, including:

  • Chardonnay (2-10)
  • Chenin Blanc (1-7)
  • Viognier (2-7)
  • White Bordeaux (3-5)
  • Semillon (1-5)
  • Riesling (0-5)

Use Quality Wine Racks to Store Your Aged Wine Collection

classic wine rack wine collection

If you’re serious about collecting wine for aging, you’ll need a few things first. 

You’ll need high-quality wine racks or wine storage units which you can find here. Click here to find out how to choose the perfect wine rack. 

You’ll also need to set up the right conditions for wine collecting. These include the right humidity, temperature and a lack of vibration. Luckily, we have a blog article about getting the right conditions for your wine here.

Ready to kick off your wine collecting journey? Check out our 100% Australian made wine racks today. 


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