You can find information about ageing your wine in the product guide we have provided with your kit. The general rule is that a bottle will show most of its character after 3 months of ageing, and that’s usually the minimum we recommend. However, for most whites and virtually all reds, 6 months of ageing is needed to smooth out the wine and allow it to express its character in a mature way. And in fact, heavy reds will continue to improve for at least a year, rewarding the patient consumer with a delicious bouquet. What most winemakers tend to do is go by the minimum recommended ageing period of 3 months, trying a bottle at that time, then leaving the wine a few more months before trying again to see how it has progressed.
Our wine kits will age as successfully as any moderately priced wine of the same style; we usually suggest a maximum of 3 years. We doubt that increasing that time up to something like 7 years would give you any better results than 3 years, and if your cellar is not well controlled, your wine will not age successfully in any case. Ageing depends entirely on your cellar.
External conditions of storage have more to do with how well a bottle of wine ages than what’s inside the bottle. Under ideal storage conditions, we would expect our wines to age easily for 25 years under a good cork. But that word, ‘ideal’, has a strict and detailed meaning that includes the absence of electromagnetic radiation, including both visible and UV light, 100% relative humidity, a temperature of 11C/52F that doesn’t vary by more than 1/10th of a degree over the course of 1 year, and an absence of any sort of vibration. Any divergence from these conditions would reduce a wine’s ageing potential.
This means that in the nominal storage situation one finds in a suburban home, there will inevitably be shorter ageing potential. For example, in some climates, where consumers need to use air conditioning, the humidity rapidly destroys corks and spoils wine. In northern climates, the heating/cooling cycle of the home will lower lifespan in the bottle.
For these reasons, we keep our ageing recommendations general, so customers don’t go into this process with false expectations. As with wine from commercial wineries, any discussion of ageing necessarily becomes a larger discussion of how you store the wine, and where.
Winexpert kits contain very low levels of sulphite compared to commercial wine. 4-week reds should not be held much longer than one year. Selection reds may last 3-5 years if properly sulphited, corked and cellared. Selection whites will last up to 2 years in the bottle.