A year in a French vineyard: April 2019

In order to improve with age, a red wine needs to have the right amount and type of tannins and, to a lesser extent, acidity

Keep or quaff... why do we age wine? Jonathan Hesford considers the tricky task of buying wines to lay down or drink

One of the things anyone will tell you about wine is that it gets better with age.

However, most wine drinkers do not know why, what or how long they should age wine. This can lead to many disappointments. Nobody wants to pour an expensive wine that they have been waiting years to savour down the sink. On the other hand, lots of ageworthy wines are drunk far too young.

The famous wine regions of France gained their reputation by making wines that would improve for years, even decades. A perfectly aged bottle of fine wine displays beautiful aromas and flavours that reward only those with the foresight and patience to know what to buy and how long to wait before opening.

Hugh Johnson, in his World Atlas of Wine also eludes to the magic of being ...

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