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Storage and aging Nowadays the quality of the great wines is judged by their ability to mature, but it was not always so. For centuries it was thought that the wine is much better at its young age, immediately after the vinification (winemaking). ===>
Wine language Here are some terms that are likely to encounter through the pages of our site, because as in any particular area and the wine has its own jargon.                 ===>
How exactly the wine is making? The recipe for turning the grapes into wine is roughly as follows:                   ===>
15 April 2010

Storage and aging

Parent Category: ROOT Category: FP RokStories


Nowadays the quality of the great wines is judged by their ability to mature, but it was not always so. For centuries it was thought that the wine is much better at its young age, immediately after the vinification (winemaking).

In fact, at that time the risk within a year of the wine to turn into vinegar was great. Thanks to the modern scientific methods it is easily found that wine represents unstable liquid. The presence of oxygen converts the alcohol into acetic acid, or, in other words, into the vinegar thanks to the Acetobacter aceti bacterium. Once, the fermentation took place in barrels and containers with relative purity, and it was quite difficult to keep wine protected from the air. For many centuries, only the high alcohol content in the wine helped to compensate for the poor sanitary conditions during its production.
For the better storage of wine we had to wait for the development over the last centuries of different techniques such as alcoholization (adding alcohol during fermentation), sulphurating (addition of sulfur dioxide against the development of bacteria) or topping up (constantly adding wine in barrels, to avoid contact with air).
Centuries ago, however, the wine should be drunk immediately after the completion of winemaking, for it continuous preservation was impossible. Only the appearance of the glass bottle and cork in such a way we know them today, allowed people to keep wine at home, as long as it was aging in barrels at the merchants. At that time, it made possible to store and wines, recently assessed as unfit for drinking because of their high content of tannins and acids. The possibility of aging allowed the wines to reach its peak or that stage of development, when the individual flavors bloom and components such as tannins, acidity and sugars reach equilibrium.
The work of Pasteur in the nineteenth century indicates that the wine is spoiled by oxidation when exposed to air. The visible part of this damage is the change in color that is reminiscent of that of peeled apple or banana. But how to explain the oxidation of the wine in the bottle, since the cap does not allow (or very little) air to penetrate? It can be assumed that the air dissolved in the wine continues to cause slow reactions which are the reason for the growth of bacteria and yeast, as well as of other chemical compounds in wine: so far 400 such are counted and the list is constantly growing.
Every wine develops with its own rhythm. Some, such as Beaujolais or many of the white ones, rapidly reach their peak and also quickly collapse. Others - like the great red wines from Bordeaux, reach much slower peak, retain it longer and also slowly lose their luster. Exactly these are the great wines for aging. Specific features of aging are set by the wine technologist, but largely on the variety, the terroir, the age of the vines and the climate of the harvest also.
The variety itself can determine the life expectancy of a wine. For example Cabernet sauvignon, Merlot or Pinot Noir will give a much more concentrated wine than the light and fruity gametes. To the red varieties with potential for aging we must add Cabernet Franc, Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah, Petit Verdot, Carignan, Tempranillo, Nebbiolo and Sangiovese. From the white ones are well aging the: Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Roussanne, Chardonnay, Grenache Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Semillon and Muscatel.
The potential of the wine for aging relies more upon its preparation. With the red wines, the technologist must derive maximum content of tannins. With the white wines, which are not derived from varieties with high acidity, the use of barriques (e.g. Chardonnay) improves the potential for aging.



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