Wine Culture and Information - Volume 17
Home Page About Us:Write Us:Back Issues:Advertising:Index 
Events Polls Serving Wine EnoForum EnoGames Wine Places Aquavitae Wine Guide


   Share this article     Summary of Editorial column Wine Tasting 
  Editorial Issue 154, September 2016   
The Time of WineThe Time of Wine  Contents 
Issue 153, Summer 2016 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 155, October 2016

The Time of Wine


 Wine gets better over time. How many times we said, of heard saying, something or someone is like a good wine and gets better over time? This probably is one of the most well known saying of Italy. A wine gets better over time, well, not all the time. It is however undeniable there are wines that, over time, reach extraordinary peaks of excellency, likewise it also true some of them - just after few years - get inexorably worse. Time is a well known relative concept and this is certainly true for wine too, each wine, territory, area, grape, vintage and interpretation of man. We cannot in fact define the age of a wine, like to say, in absolute terms, as this measure changes according to the characteristics and limits of the wine itself. We can however be sure the measure of time, better to say, longevity of wine, can be prolonged according to proper and specific viticultural and wine making techniques.


 

 A wine, in order to challenge time and get better over the course of years, must be produced with this specific goal in mind. These wines, in fact, are made with the awareness that, in order to properly enjoy the result of the work in the vineyard and of vintner, one needs to wait some years. The wait is frequently worth the time, provided the keeping of wine has been properly done and with care. Tasting a wine destined to a long aging just after few months, means to face a huge disappointment. In the glass we will get, in this case, a wine lacking in harmony and balance, with an evident excess caused by particular gustatory stimuli, most of the time being more than one. The classic example is offered by red wines produced with the goal of giving their best over time: the astringency of tannins can be so aggressive and fierce as to taste unpleasing. Something producers know very well when they need to taste their young wines straight from the cask or barrique.

 I admit - and I know I am not alone here - when in the glass I have a wine magnificently embellished by time, the enchantment in each sip, sight and aroma, is something getting my whole attention. It is impossible not to be caught in those endless nuances only time can give to wines capable of catching them in order to make a magic out of them. Time is in fact capable of setting up a magnificent stage where color, aromas and taste of wine play a majestic part for the senses, privileged spectators of an unrepeatable show. The actors on the stage are not always capable of playing such a noble role, however, in case they are, ladies and gentlemen, all we can do is bowing to the wine with reverence. A bow to the wine - of course - as well as to those who made it and let it live, by taking its hand from vineyard to glass. The beauty of the show, there is no doubt about this, also depends on personal tastes and it may happen some cannot appreciate or understand what time gave to wine - that wine - to that bottle.

 What amazes me quite a lot is when those “shows” are played by white wines, in particular for the fact, according to many, these wines should be consumed within two years from harvesting. They should change their mind because - in my opinion - they do not really know what they are missing in uncorking certain whites after few years from harvesting. Consumers - better to say, most of consumers - are always looking for white wines of the latest vintage, in particular in restaurants, virtually after few months from harvesting. Restaurateurs too are responsible for this, most of the times incapable of properly suggesting wines to their clients, they just do what can satisfy their requests: when the clients are happy, everyone is happy. This forces producers - who are evidently responsible in this nonetheless - to sell their wines as soon as possible, indeed, to make them with the goal of having them ready after few months from harvesting.

 The few and enlightened restaurateurs who suggest to their clients a white wine worth to be enjoyed after some years from harvesting, are sometimes accused of being unfair for the fact they are trying to sell an old wine. On the contrary, it is easy to serve at a table a red wine having some years of age, indeed, in this case consumers seem to appreciate the suggestion just because “wine gets better over time”. This is true, of course, provided the wine is red and, even better, important. And who knows what does exactly “important wine” mean? Those who wish to pour in their glasses a white wine at the restaurant, ask for young bottles, very young, virtually a wine which has just been racked from the cask. The exception is in case it is a white wine aged in cask or in barrique, in this case they can make an exception. A vicious circle, unfortunately, forcing restaurateurs to buy young white wines and producers who, in order to sell their wine, do everything in order to make them happy. This happens because they do not have the will to make proper decisions and to sell their wines when they are ready to drink, by telling restaurateurs they are going to sell the wine only when the bottle is ready to give its best.

 There is another style of wine I love to uncork after some time spent to “meditate” in the bottle and here, this is quite likely, I am afraid there are few to be with me in this: classic method sparkling wines. Bubbles refermented in bottle and with some years of aging after disgorgement, becomes monuments of extraordinary sensorial complexity, magnificent interpreters of time. They get an elegant roundness capable of supporting effervescence and acidity that - despite the time going by - are however alive and stingy. Aromas are wearing noble clothes, just like precious brocade, giving an endless wonder and pleasure to the nose. The art of keeping of course plays a very important role - last but not the least, the role of the one who made it - and can become a discriminating factor between the apotheosis and the worst disappointment. For sure, when I see in my cellar a white or classic method sparkling wine which benefited from the evolution of time, I take my corkscrew and I get ready to enjoy the show. And I think about those who, unlucky them, have uncorked that very same bottle few years in advance, my face has a sly and satisfied smile because they will never know what they missed.

Antonello Biancalana






   Share this article     Summary of Editorial column Wine Tasting 
  Editorial Issue 154, September 2016   
The Time of WineThe Time of Wine  Contents 
DiWineTaste Polls
In choosing a wine, what is the most important factor?


Result   Other Polls

 Share this poll   
What kind of wine do you like having in July?


Result   Other Polls

 Share this poll   
When you buy a wine, you are mainly interested in:


Result   Other Polls

 Share this poll   


Events Polls Serving Wine EnoForum EnoGames Wine Places Aquavitae Wine Guide
Home Page About Us:Write Us:Back Issues:Advertising:Index 

Privacy Policy

Download your free DiWineTaste Card  :  Test your Blood Alcohol Content  :  Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on Twitter

Download DiWineTaste
Copyright © 2002-2019 Antonello Biancalana, DiWineTaste - All rights reserved
All rights reserved under international copyright conventions. No part of this publication and of this WEB site may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without permission in writing from DiWineTaste.