How to Age Wine

The idea of wine improving with age is fairly well known. But the reality is that few of us take the time to actually age our wine. Even with the best of intentions to age wine, it’s easy to end up cracking open that bottle when a special occasion or particular meal comes around. But taking the time to age wine can be worthwhile in the long run.

Why Age Wine?

When time is taken to age wine, the components of the wine will mellow out and bring a harmonious balance to the flavor. The tannins, present in red wine bring its bitter and astringent flavor. As wine ages, the tannins precipitates out of the wine, thus leaving a smoother and more mellow flavor. The acids as well will lose a bit of their bite and allow to fruits to come out more. Put more simply, age gives wine a more complex and balanced flavor.

What wines should be aged?

Indeed not every wine should be aged, but there are a few simple guidelines to help you determine whether or not a particular wine is a good one to age. Wines that can be aged contain sulfates which allow the wine to age without turning into vinegar. Since white wines have lower tannis and sulfates than red wine, they are generally not meant to be aged. A bold red wine like a Cabernet is usually a good candidate. But it’s important to remember that eventually, all wines will turn to vinegar. The trick to aging wine is to age it enough to find the perfect balance in the flavor. In general, most California wines were meant to be consumed right away while a number of French wines are meant to be matured over several years. Any wine under $25 probably do not need to be aged. There are certainly many exceptions to these rules and your local wine shop can help you find a wine that is good to age.

How to Age Wine Properly

In order for wine to age well, it must be stored properly. Cooler temperatures will slow down the aging process and allow the complex flavors in the wine to develop. The wine should be stored at a constant temperature of around 50-60 degrees F. Fluctuating temperatures will cause the wine and the cork to expand and contract and cause the wine to be oxidized. The wine should be stored on its side in order to keep the cork from drying out and should be stored in a dark place. If you don’t have a dedicated cellar in your home, you can always buy a wine cooler online or find one at a local wine shop. Check out our wine aging chart as a guideline for how long to age a wine.

Once you have a place to store your wine, visit your local wine shop and get some recommendations on a good aging wine. Once you’ve chosen a wine, pick up a case of it to age. Try one of the bottles right away and store the rest to age. After a couple of years, start opening them up and see how the flavors have changed. A new bottle of wine may be good, but a properly aged wine can be even better.


6 Completely Free Adventures in Sonoma Wine Country

Get ready to discover all the exciting tourist attractions the beautiful Sonoma Wine Country in Northern California has to offer you… and they’re totally free.. yes FREE!

1. Drive Down America’s Most Beautiful Road

California’s state route, called Highway 1, drives past one of the world’s longest and most beautiful coastlines. On a sunny day, the water reflects the sun and the cool breeze greets you. All around you, you see clear, blue sky—calm, serene, and beautiful.

No wonder it’s called the “All American Road.” Take a long drive, or stop at one of the many golden beaches for hours of sun, sea and surf. Get a tan, dive into the water, or settle with a book under the shade. Truly, some of the best things in life are free.

2. Go on a Pt Reyes Hiking Adventure

Over 140 miles of trails, yours for the exploring for the mere price of…your time. You’ll get a free map where you can follow any of the many biking or hiking trails through one of America’s most famous wilderness reserves. Some of the trees in this area are thousands of years old and their leaves and branches form a cool natural canopy.

It’s a great way of getting in touch with nature, or even yourself. We’re so used to the hustle and bustle of daily life, that we’ve forgotten how to be still, and listen to our own thoughts.

This marvelous hiking adventure can take you through different terrains of pasture lands, forests and meadowlands—and right into the center of your soul.

3. Run Free at Armstrong Woods

Most of us are cooped up in small office cubicles or condos for most of our days. At Armstrong Woods, you can run free—in over 805 meters of ancient tree groves, nature trails, and numerous picnic facilities. You’ll find the oldest and tallest redwoods in the country, some towering to over 300 feet, and nearly 1,500 years old.

Bond with your family. Play with your kids, chat with your husband (when was the last time you really talked?) or take a long walk alone to meditate in the stillness of the woods. In ancient times, knights and other adventure seekers would go on a retreat before embarking on an important quest. Take this time out and center yourself—and let tomorrow be the beginning of the rest of your life.

4. Go Animal Watching at Bodega Bay

Bodega Bay is Sonoma County’s most popular spot for bird watching. People have spotted some very rare birds here, and more times than in any other area in the county. It’s a favorite destination for members of the Audubon Society—and many of them cite Owl Canyon, Hole in the Head, and the bushes near Diekmann’s Store as their favorite “places of vigil.”

The waters of Bodega Bay are also homes to a thriving community of whales and seals. With just a boat, and a good pair of binoculars, people can see these beautiful animals frolicking in their natural habitat. Better than a zoo, and as close to being in a National Geographic video as you can get—and it’s all for free.

5. Discover Interesting New Art

Maybe it’s the beautiful view, or the convergence of different cultures. California has a bustling art scene, thanks to young and talented individuals. Their visions and expressions are not only beautiful, but inspire everyone to get in touch with their own creative side.

Take an “art trip” at the Arts Council of Sonoma Country Gallery, conveniently located at Santa Rosa’s Downtown Area (right on 529 Fifth Street). It’s open on Wednesday to Friday from 12 – 5 pm, and Saturdays from 12 – 4 pm. For more information, call 707-579-ARTS or visit

6. Rediscover Rustic Americana

Tired of the urban rush? Dreaming of a quieter, simpler life? Be a farmer for one day with the free Farm Trails map. It’ll take you through the abundant fields of Sonoma Country. Go berry picking, feed the sheep and llamas, chase after butterflies, and buy freshly picked fruit straight from the farmer.

You can also visit wineries, breweries and cheese factories. Don’t think of it as an extended grocery trip—it’s a chance to enjoy rustic Americana and (for at least a few hours) know how it feels like to retire to the countryside.

If you schedule your trip during August 11 and 12, you can also participate in the annual Gravenstein Apple Fair at Ragle Ranch Park, Sebastopol. Read more at


Wineries to Visit in Northern Arizona

Those of us living in the Phoenix area are always looking for ways to escape the heat over the summer. Why not take a weekend and head up North to enjoy great wine. You don’t have to go all the way to Napa to have a great wine tasting experience. Here are a few wineries to visit up North, out of the heat.Continue Reading..


Wineries in Tucson, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about wine. So it may come as a surprise to know that there are a number of wineries down south. If you happen to be headed down there this summer and are on the lookout for something to do, here are a list of wineries in Tucson to visit.Continue Reading..


My Favorite Wine Experience – Napa Valley Auction

Back in 2008, I received an email from a friend who worked at a client’s winery. She asked me if I had ever been to the Napa Valley Auction. I hadn’t, but as it turns out, she had 2 tickets to the upcoming Friday Event and asked if I would like to go. There would be food, wine to taste and lots of wine to bid on. At first I was a little hesitant, as I know that there are two things I really don’t like to mix: drinking and bidding. That is usually a cocktail for disaster when it comes to my credit cards. But then, I thought about it and figured, “ehhh, why not?” So, I respectfully accepted. To my surprise, it would turn out to be the best wine experience in the valley I ever attended (I was there for 11 years).Continue Reading..


Give your wine life – Store it Properly

Because wine is a perishable, it’s best to take some extra steps in an effort to keep wine for extended periods of time. Most white wines are good for a few years, while certain red wines can keep for much longer periods of time. That said, here are a few tips on how best to store wines:

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