Just married? or do you have a friend who plans on tying the knot soon? As a wine lover, the first gift I think of buying for a friend’s wedding is wine. It could be my selfish desire to want to have a hand at my friend’s anniversaries, however there is something really enchanting about collecting wine for a wedding anniversary. What are the wines that age well so that they can be enjoyed after 1 year? 5 years? 25 years?
Let’s outline the basics of wines that age well from the first few years to the bitter… ahem, sweet end!
The 4 Tips to Buying Age-worthy Anniversary Wines
When buying anniversary wines for a wedding there are four tips that will ensure the wine will age well: acidity, tannin, sweetness level and alcohol level.
How To Store Wine
Wines that are meant to age 10+ years must be stored in low light and at steady temperatures. An ideal cellar is 55° F with no light. Consider a wine storage unit if you’re serious about preservation
Wines with higher acid tend to last longer. As a wine ages it slowly loses its acids and flattens out. Basically, a wine with higher acid has a longer runway to work with as it ages. Some wines are so acidic and unapproachable that they take about 10 years to taste good.
A red wine trait: A wine with high tannins has a similar sensation to putting a used tea-bag on your tongue. Tannin acts as a structural component and wines with higher tannin tend to last longer. Tannins come from the contact of the pips and skins of the grapes in winemaking. Additionally, tannin comes from contact during oak aging. White wines do not need tannin to last a long time.
The alcohol level adversely affects how well a wine ages. Alcohol either acts as a volatile agent or a preservative (as in vintage port). All dry wines that are not preserved with distilled spirits, such as port, do not last long if the alcohol level is high. A wine that ages well will typically have 13.5% alcohol or below. There are, of course, exceptions to the rule and they typically have high acid/tannin structure. However, as a basic rule, a lower alcohol wine will last longer.
This component of a wine is often overlooked because of the popularity of dry wines, however, wines with higher residual sugar can age well.