“Nosing a wine” refers to smelling the wine. When smelling a wine, the taster dips their nose into the upper portion of the wine glass (not into the wine itself) and breathes in the aromas coming off of the wine. Depending on the complexity of wine and the varietal of the grapes used in its production, a wine’s aromas may cultivate in many, deep layers of smells throughout the glass, so when smelling the wine, the taster may dip their nose deeper and deeper into the glass.
An aged wine is one older than a winery’s currently released vintage, and which has been in the bottle for at least 1-2 years.
It’s not uncommon for a winery to allow its wines to age for 18 or even longer, to reach the right quality and be ready for release. This means a wine produced in 2017 might not be bottled and released by the winery until sometime in 2019. Even then, the wine is going to need time in the bottle to develop its own characteristics.
Most white wines age gracefully, but with a shorter lifespan than reds. This has to do with the chemical composition of white wines: Fewer tannins; Save for Chardonnay, most never see any oak; Lighter and more delicate flavors that may not improve with time; And so forth. White wines generally diminish in quality faster than reds.
Conversely, many red wines need a certain amount of ageing in the bottle for their flavors and qualities to emerge. Acids and volatile compounds interact with tannins and ultimately smooth out. Many red wines have a “sweet spot” of ageing at 4-6 years in the bottle. Some may need up to 8-10 years to really hit their max. After that, it may be a slow decline as they gracefully age.
When purchasing an aged wine, such as from a winery during a library sale or when getting a private tour of their cellar, your best bet is to ask the winemaker or winery staff for their recommendations. If you’re lucky, they may be pouring a selection of aged wines as part of the event, so you can get a first-hand taste of the product for yourself.
Generally speaking, if you’re thinking of buying aged wine, if it’s available in a magnum, chances are much better the wine is in better shape, than if just a 750mL bottle, as overall less oxidation has occurred throughout the wine.
As with any aspect of collecting wine, what goes into your wine cellar is entirely up to you!
Do you prefer red wines more than white? White more than red? What about rose or sparkling wines?
How large do you want to build your cellar, and for what reason? Are you going to entertain guests often, or do you wish to collect wines to later give out as gifts? Or, do you happen to live in a remote location and so only visit your favorite wineries once per year?
All of these factors play into the decision making process of stocking your wine cellar.
If you’re set on a particular wine and love it to death, great! Buy a few bottles, or even a case. Set it aside and forget about it. It’s a foundation wine and will help you build a stock in your cellar. Next, try new wines. Try new wineries. Visit new tasting rooms. Expose your palate to new options and you may realize that you don’t want to limit yourself to a cellar full of just a few good wines. Instead, perhaps 2-3 bottles from a given winemaker is sufficient, and you want to then move on to another.
The size of your cellar is going to be based on amount of space, your budget, and your intended use for that cellar. If you do run out of space, you always have the option to trade wines with your friends, or simply create more space by enjoying some of the wines you’ve been collecting.
This topic is slightly controversial. It seems every few years, new data is released through various media outlets purporting new research, new medical discoveries, and of course new government-related warnings about the benefits and harm of wine consumption.
First of all, we at OregonWines.com want to press the point of in all things, moderation. Overdoing any type of food or beverage, especially those containing alcohol, can be harmful to your health.
“Moderate consumption” is difficult to define, and varies literally based on the government and medical professionals in each culture on the planet. It also varies based on a person’s gender, age, and physical condition.
Some of the reported benefits are related more to red wines than white wines. This is because red wine contains a much higher concentration of resveratrol, a potent antioxidant derived from the skins of red wine grapes. Additional phenolic compounds from grape stems and seeds, and other tannin contributors, also play a lesser but still notable role.
Everything from lowering blood pressure, to increasing “healthy” blood cholesterol, to enhancing metabolism, have all been reported in various tests performed on groups of moderate wine drinkers. In conjunction with a “Mediterranean” diet focusing more on vegetables and fruit, whole grained breads, more seafood and fish and less red meat, and with “smarter” fats like olive oil, are also a factor in some of these studies, as wine tends to go hand in hand with such foods.
All that aside, a glass of really great wine at the end of a stressful work day can have a powerful psychological effect on a person, and the simple act of stress reduction in and of itself can be a powerful benefit.
Disclaimer: This article is not written by medical professionals, and we do not advocate the use of any alcohol to improve your health. We’re simply commenting on things we’ve read over the years.
All wines contain some antioxidants. Antioxidants are believed to provide health benefits, though when consumed with alcohol, some or many of those benefits may be lessened or completely nullified.
Red wines contain a much higher concentration of resveratrol, a potent antioxidant derived from the skins of red wine grapes.
Additional phenolic compounds from grape stems and seeds, and other tannins, also contain some antioxidants.
Tannins are compounds found in a wide range of plants, such as coffee, tea, cocoa, and fruits like grapes and cranberries. Tannins health benefits are reported to have a wide range of impact on the human body, some good, others not so good.
Lowered blood pressure, improved immune response, and blood sugar balance are all some of the reported benefits of tannins. Impacted liver function and increased blood pressure are some of the reported dangers of certain tannins.
Disclaimer: This article was not written by medical professionals.
Flavonoids are a compound found in all plants. The highest concentrations of flavonoids in produced foods can be found in red wine. In nature, berries, apples, legumes, tea leaves, and citrus fruits all contain high amounts of flavonoids
Red wine is reported to assist with boosting “good” cholesterol levels. When consumed as part of a health, balanced, Mediterranean diet, some research points to a reduction in “bad” cholesterol levels. It is unclear as to whether people can consume wine to reduce cholesterol levels.
Disclaimer: This article was not written by medical professionals. Please consult your doctor if you have questions about consuming wine and its effects on your health.
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Collecting wines is a personal process. When it comes to wine, whatever you like is a great place to start. Red or white, sparkling or rose, wines of all kinds are there to be enjoyed and collected!
To collect wines, you’ll want to learn more about building a cellar. This article addresses some basic thoughts on what to put into it.