Technique

Aging Country Fruit Wines

Wine is a dynamic chemical soup, constantly changing, evolving, reducing and oxidizing. From the moment it is made, its fate is sealed. Yes, it will improve, mature, reach a peak, and then it will decline and eventually become undrinkable. The best we can do is make it in such a way that it ages gradually, reaches that peak when we expect it to and declines slowly. It can be done, but in both grape and non-grape wines it is not an everyday occurrence. Noted wine authority Jancis Robinson estimates that only 1% of all wines can improve for a decade, and here she was speaking of grape wines. While the percentage of non-grape or country wines with decennial potential is undoubtedly smaller than for grape wines, there is still a great variability in the aging potential of country wines. Some can indeed age well. In both grape and country wines, there are several key contributors to a wine’s potential to age well. We will examine these below. They establish the necessary chemistry or conditions to fuel the long haul. When