How long should I keep a particular style of wine?
You’ve just bought a bottle of wine that has gold medals from every major wine show in the country. You open it and it tastes no better than the nine-dollar bottle you had last night. What’s the problem? When you read the review of the wine in your wine magazine you find out it should have been ‘laid down’ for 3-5 years. But often there’s nothing mentioned on the label so how would you know?
Below you will find a rough guide of how long to store different types of wines to get them to their peak drinking age. Remember this is a very subjective area. Every winery makes wine in different ways and every year produces a different vintage. Some will age well while others are designed to drink now.
If you really want to get the best from your wines, contact the winery that made it. They’ll tell you exactly when you should drink the wine.
Wine Type Ageing
- Cabernet-Merlot blend: 2-8 years
- Cabernet Sauvignon: 3-10 years
- Cabernet-Shiraz blend: 3-10 years
- Chardonnay: 0-5 years
- Merlot: 2-5 years
- Pinot Noir: 2-5 years
- Port non-vintage: 0-5 years
- Port vintage: 5-20 years
- Riesling: 0-8 years
- Shiraz: 2-5 years
- Sparkling wines non-vintage (Champagne): 0-2 years
- Sparkling wines vintage (Champagne): 5-8 years
Summary: Most wines will have a recommended cellaring time printed on the label, if not, ask where you bought the wine or contact the winery that made it
Ageing - Shelf-Life for Wine
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