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January 23, 2018 2 min read

What the world knows is that there are both young and aged wines. Wines that age well have certain characteristics. Wine sommeliers use logical deduction based on their own experiences to determine what ages wine.

Generally, it is believed that there are four characteristic which will decide whether wine will last or not. Wines which are meant to last will taste good in the later years but not in the initial ones. The wines which are meant to be young should be consumed in their earlier years.

Read on to know about the traits of wine that will help it to age well.



While high tannins are present in foods like walnuts, dark chocolate, quince and red beans, they’re most prominently known for their presence in wine.

Tannins are structural compounds which occur naturally. They exist in the skins of grapes, stems and seeds. Contact of the wine with skins of grapes and contact to the pips during its making process also matters in the wine and oak aging.

A well balanced tannin is when there is a balance between the wood tannin and the grape tannin. They also smooth out with tannin as the tannins break down.

Red wines with higher tannins tend to age better than red wines with lower tannins.

The wine should be well- balanced to begin with to let the tannins help it age well. A non- balanced wine will not improve with time. White wines do not require to age because of tannins and there are several long- lived white wines.

Residual Sugar

Because of the popularity of aging dry wines, residual sugar in wines are often overlooked. Sweets wines like Sherry, Port and Riesling are the longest lived wines.


Wines lose their acidity with time and flattens out in nature. Higher acidity wines have a tendency to last longer. If a wine has lower acidity as its original nature, it will not make it in the long run. Wines with higher acidity will get better as it ages.

Alcohol Level

Alcohol turns wine into vinegar quickly as it is volatile in non- fortified wines. With exceptions, non- fortified wines with lower alcohol levels will last longer. Most of the dry white and red wines are excluded from this exceptions. It is advised to check the alcohol levels of an aging wine. It is better if the ABV is below 13.5%. Normal still wines are ruined when the alcohol level is high. Fortified wines with ABV 17- 20% are the longest lives wines.

Apart from these characteristics of wine, the aging process is also affected greatly by the stopper, its storage method and the wine bottle.

Before choosing the best bottle of wine consider all of the factors and decide if it will be worth foregoing the sip.

Guest Blog Post by: Samantha Schutz of

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