Aging wine 🍷 “Wine is a perishable product, and due to chemical reactions within the bottle, and oxygen exchange through the cork, the wine will change, and eventually deteriorate. There are a number of factors that affect a wines “ageability”. These include the grape variety, the vintage, the vineyard practices, and the winemaking process, as well as the bottle closure (screwcaps versus corks).
The grape variety will determine the sugar (and ultimately the alcohol) levels, the tannins, and the acids. The vintage is all the affects of climate/weather on the vineyards, which can also influence the final wine product.
The key factors that influence the ageability of a wine are: acidity, residual sugar, alcohol levels, tannins, and ultimately the flavor and aroma of the wine.
Acidity is what preserves a wine. Acidity determines the pH level of the wine. But, too much acidity can be a flaw. Acidity does not change as a wine ages, it is constant. So, if it has too much or too little to begin with, the wine will only show more of the flaw over time. Wines with high residual sugar will age if they have balanced acidity. Without acids, the residual sugar will make for an odd wine after aging. Alcohol levels in wine must also be balanced. When I taste a wine, I feel the burn in the back of my throat, if the alcohol is not balanced. Alcohol does not change in wine over time either, so just like acid, it must be in balance... In general, red wines with high acidity (such as Pinot noir and Sangiovese) have a greater capability of aging. Additionally, red wines, a high level tannins (such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Nebbiolo and Syrah), will usually be wines will stand the test of time. The white wines with the best aging potential tend to be those with a high amount of acidity (Chenin Blanc, Riesling). The acidity in white wines plays a similar role that tannins have with red wines in acting as a preservative.” Source: arrowheadwine.com