Young Wine vs Old Wine

A customer recently asked me how long he should cellar a certain red and my response was “do you like the flavour now?”. The reply “yes, it’s mind blowing!”.

My advice was … I’ve held a couple of wine dinners recently, and tasted some of the great names and vintages of Australian reds that have have been cellared for 10 plus years against some younger much less expensive rivals. The result was a no brainer for youth (the thing is we are always looking to make excuses for the older wines). Here is my opinion…. In the old days they used to press the guts out of the reds to get every last drop of juice so the resulting wines contained a great deal of acid and you had to cellar them to soften the fruit so they were drinkable. Today wine making technology and viticulture are so advanced that most wines don’t carry the acid of their forebears. They are picked riper and your tongue can access all these wonderful vibrant, young berry flavours with barrell aged enhancements pretty much straight out of the bottle. It is akin to comparing Racquel Welch at age 25 and the same lady at age 65, I know which lady I would prefer. It is all about youth and vivaciousnes… My wife is not happy as she types this.

So the tip is to drink your reds with bottle age to 5 years and a maximum of 10, for the most enticing results. Sell off all of those name brands in your cellar that you think are past it at auction. Of course some new reds are still made the old fashioned way and need to be cellared, I just hope the fruit is still good when you drink them. Cheers!

Justin’s Latest Picks