How to Age Wine

Alissa Bica | Aug 14, 2023

Ok. Now that you know the correct bottles, what now? Assuming you can manage to not drink them immediately out of excitement, the most important things to consider while aging wine is temperature and angle. So, please, no storing wine vertically on top of the fridge in the hot sun! If you are planning to purchase high end bottles and hold them for 20-30 years, I highly recommend investing in a wine fridge. I currently own a 36 bottle Danby fridge I purchased off Amazon for $300, but there are fridges and cellar systems that range up into the thousands, like the 166 bottle Wine Enthusiast Cellar fridge. I don’t think you need all of that unless you plan on collecting hundreds of wines for years, but please keep them cold. This does not mean a shoe box in your closet or under the bed behind the lawn chairs. It’s also very important to store wines in the horizontal position, not vertically. This prevents an oxygen gap between the wine and the cork which can lead to spoilage.

If you are buying a current new release of any of the bottles or regions I suggested above, at the very least, hold the bottle for 10 years. But you’ll achieve way more interesting results if you hold it for at least 20. It’s hard to predict the exact maximum aging potential of each wine but 40 years is a safe peak window.

The rest is quite simple! Live life and pull that bottle out for a special occasion down the road. I hope these tips save you from your own wine horror story and brings you immense pleasure for future celebrations, birthdays, and anniversaries to come.


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About the Author

Alissa Bica is a certified sommelier at the Los Angeles restaurant, 71 Above, as well as US tasting coordinator and contributing editor at Wine and Spirits magazine. Every day, she feels humbled that she was able to turn one of her greatest passions into a career. She lives for the “aha!” moments that her guests experience when they taste a Premiere Cru Chablis next to a Napa Chardonnay and appreciate the differences. Her musings on wine, culture, and memory have been published in Wine Enthusiast magazine, and she runs the popular blog, Off the Beaten Wine Path, where she explores rare grape varieties and what their perfect food pairs.

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