The virtues of drinking older wines

When someone recently mentioned that we were nearing the end of yet another decade, it made me think back to the weather variations of recent years – and of course how that has impacted on grape harvests across the planet.

As I write, we’ve just witnessed horrendous wild fires in Australia and the USA, both within frightening proximity of vineyards.  In Europe, we are experiencing extraordinary rainfall – let’s hope that most wineries managed to pick their grape crops ahead of the floods.

The thought of older vintages gone by got me thinking about the virtues of allowing wines to age substantially before drinking.  It goes without saying that 99% of wine is sold almost as soon as it is bottled – such is the need for wineries to get paid.  But those lucky enough to experience older wines will know that holding off drinking your wine and cellaring it for a number of years really does pay off.

Consider our 2002 Riesling from Pierre Frick in Alsace – it’s a wine that’s nearly 20 years old, but you wouldn’t know it, such is it’s freshness.

Yes, the colour has turned deep golden and the primary fresh apply character has mellowed into a honeyed characteristic.  But this style of mature wine has globules of honeyed character, making it potentially perfect with next month’s turkey!  The great thing about well made Riesling is the acidity – a good acidity gives wine half a chance to age for years and years.  The result is we get to enjoy an altogether different but heavenly wine experience.

Visit Hannibal’s Grotto for plenty of wine gift ideas this Christmas.