Aged Wines and how to drink them
With Australia making "drink now" wines of exceptional quality the finer and more impressive aged wines have taken a back seat. At running horse wines we have set out to make age-worthy wines and from here we feel it important to refresh people’s minds on how to drink aged wines. Wines that will age have high natural acidity and by aging this softens off as other flavours develop and integrate the acidity
When opened, aged wines do need to breathe a little. But don't necessarily need to be decanted. Decanting wines will open up the wine, give a splash of expose to oxygen and help with integrating the palate so your four different taste bud areas, get the right balance that the winemaker intended.
Essentually that is saying most young wines need a decant to fast track oxygen exposure (oxidation). As all wines have been exposed to oxygen once the protective skin is broken at the grape crush the unstopable oxidation process has started. Once the wine is bottled it has slowed and controlled the oxidation process but it doesn't stop.
So by decanting an aged wine really has 5 benefits.
1 It filters the grape skins so when poured it doesn't end up in your glass. Really the only practical reason as wines age they shed colour and leave the dark residue in an empty glass
2 If the wine is going to be drunk by 4 people i.e one glass each, you can get straight to the optimum taste. The wine has been slowly oxidising in the bottle so you don't need to add more oxygen and waiting an hour could see the win
3 when you are having 2 bottles of the same wine decant the second bottle when pouring the first wine. This will help follow the wines drinking variations as fresh poured wines have a tinny bit more acidity that stands out at the beginning of a bottle and will not be noticeable towards the end hence that minor acidity won’t be there when drinking the second bottle.
4 if the aged wine is still to young and might need a bit of instant oxidation
Both points 2 3 and 4 can effectively done by pouring into a glass as we are doing the cellaring for you and the acidity has integrated well for you to enjoy
All foods and beverages have an optimum temperature to exhibit their best. Whether it is a basic cup of tea or a plate of chips. With wine, drinking on the cold side hides fruit flavour and can have the wines natural acidity stand out a bit. That is at everyone’s different threshold and should be taken into account when chilling wines. For me about 30 minutes in the fridge on a 30 degree day is about what I like for my whites and rose. And a heated room in winter for my Shiraz in the depths of winter if the wines a bit cold.
Not finishing the bottle.
Stable age worthy wines can be drunk over numerous days. If you are unlikely to finish the bottle just keep putting the lid back on after pouring. This will minimise the increased oxidation, and put in the fridge will also slow down the oxidation process.