How Long to Age Wine

Dusty wine bottles at Principe Corsini estate

Do you know how long to age wine? Do you know which wines age best? Keep reading to find out how to age wine and why to age wine, and why you may not need to at all!

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you may have noticed that most of our vacations revolve around wine. Whether it’s Walla Walla, Sonoma, Paso Robles, or even Italy, we always like to bring home some wine from those trips and save them for a bit, so that when we do decide to open them up, it immediately brings back memories of those amazing places.

Over time, our wine collection has grown a bit out of control. I’ve got countless cases of wine buried underground in our crawl space, and one of the “veggie” drawers in our fridge is dedicated solely to white wine, but it’s been evident for a while now that we need a good wine cooler, and a big one.

Enter this beauty – the NewAir AWR-1160DB Dual Zone Premier Gold Series Wine Cooler. It not only holds 116 bottles, but it also has dual zone cooling technology, meaning that I can store our white wines at a colder temperature in the top of the unit (freeing up that veggie drawer in the fridge) and our red wines down below, at a slightly warmer temp. Its pretty beech wood pull out shelving and gold interior lights blend in perfectly with our decor too.

Wine Cooler - How long to age wine

New Age Wine Cooler in kitchenWine Storage Temperature 

The ideal wine storage temperature is between 55 – 59 °F but I like to be able to open up a bottle of white wine straight from the fridge without further cooling, so I normally keep them at around 40-degrees. The key point is to be sure to store your wines in a location where the temp is cool and consistent. Studies have shown that wine stored at room temperature age up to four times faster than those stored chilled!

How Long to Age Wine 

So just how long can you age those wines? In general, red wines can age longer than white wines. And red wines with the most structure can age the longest of all – think bone dry Italian varieties like Barolo, Barbaresco and Nebbiolo. Here are some of the most common varieties of wine and their suggesting aging times:

Aging Red Wine

  • Cabernet Sauvignon 10-20 years
  • Pinot Noir   3-5 years
  • Merlot 3-5 years
  • Zinfandel   2-5 years
  • Beaujolais  Drink young

At Lenné Estate, located outside of Yamhill, Oregon, you'll find their Pinot Noir to have a beautiful and distinct mocha aroma and silky texture | platingsandpairings.com

Aging White Wine

  • Riesling   3-5 years
  • Chardonnay   2-3 years
  • Pinot Gris   1-2 years
  • Sauvignon Blanc 1-3 years

Aging Rosé Wine

  • Rosé – 1-2 years

Ghost Hill Cellars in Carlton, Oregon has a story to tell – And it’s not just about ghosts. This is a story of family, farming and Pinot Noir | platingsandpairings.com

Why to Age Wine 

It’s important to note that aging a wine doesn’t necessarily make it better. Rather, it makes the wine different. The wine inside those bottles is actually living, and it changes from year to year – it’s constantly evolving. If you sample a wine and you like the way it tastes now, by all means, go ahead and drink it! How long to age wine is up to you. I actually find that in general, I prefer younger wines. The main reason that we store our wine is for the nostalgic reasons mentioned above – Pulling out special bottles from our past trips and being brought back to that place and time.

Another reason I might store wines is if I come across a particular vintage of wine that I really love. The 2013 vintage of Oregon Pinot Noir, for example, is my absolute favorite. The problem is, I can’t stop drinking them… I always reach for them first. That’s why I’ve got at least five bottles of it buried under the house. It’s a struggle to get to them and I’ll maybe access them once a year, when I can pull out a bottle or two to enjoy.

How about you? Do you like aged wines? Do you have a favorite vintage? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

PS – our wine fridge is the NewAir Dual Zone Premier Gold Series Wine Cooler, AWR-1160DB. It retails for $1,499. They also have plenty of smaller units to choose from. Plus,  NewAir is giving my readers 20% off any wine cooler on their site with the promo code PLATINGS. How awesome is that?

Disclosure: I teamed up with New Air to bring you this post on how long to age wine. As always, all opinions are my own. 

12 comments

  1. Andrea

    I really love this post! That wine cooler is absolutely amazing and is this your kitchen?!? BEAUTIFUL!! I have always enjoyed wine but lately find myself really honing into flavors and preferences on a whole new level and it is really fun. Thanks so much for the education – I’m going to keep on reading for sure!
    P.S. – fave bottle of something red, very dry and spicy that costs under $20 that I can pick ups somewhere local (New Seasons?). Thank you!!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Thank you Andrea – Yes, that is our kitchen. I’m quite fond of all the natural light 🙂
      I’d look for a Syrah or Rioja at New Seasons – You should definitely be able to find some great bottles at New Seasons!

      Reply

  2. Catherine @ Ten Thousand Hour Mama

    I absolutely love opening a special bottle of wine (or box of tea, or chocolates, or anything else!) that evokes a place or experience. It’s such a fun way to relive memories!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Totally agree Catherine! Food and wine are my souvenirs!

      Reply

  3. Pech

    I’m so jealous of your temperature controlled wine cooler! I have the same attitude about having to hide my favorite wines from myself by putting them on the very bottom shelves in my basement where it’s harder to reach. I also depend on winemakers and Cellartracker for recommendations on how long I can store my wine

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Agreed Pech – Love Cellartracker for advice.

      Reply

  4. Meg

    Thanks for all the helpful info. And your wine fridge is gorgeous! Glad you found a solution for your wine needs. P.S. wine fridges are also good to use as a cheese cave.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      What a great tip Meg!!! Love the idea to use the wine cooler as a cheese cave.

      Reply

  5. Marlynn | UrbanBlissLife

    Oh my gosh I NEED this wine fridge! It is stunning! I wish more Oregon wines would age well. I love that most of them are made to drink now, or within 2-3 years, but I also love having really delicious aged wine. Your post is so helpful! Thanks, Erin!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Thanks Marlynn- Isn’t it pretty? I love how it blends right in with our kitchen.

      Reply

  6. Hillary Harper

    This is so informative! I love wine but don’t know much about it, so it’s great to know how long each varietal can age. Your new wine fridge is incredible! Definitely need something like that one day in our home.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I’m so glad it was helpful Hillary!

      Reply

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