Opened a bottle of Chateauneuf-du-pape Usseglio this weekend. Unfortunately it was much better 2-3 years ago. Everyone knows that wine ages and gets better over time. Or does it? I have a 4 year “dud” theory? 4 years is just a number I have given, as there was a time I was consistently drinking wine in it’s 4th year where it was not at it’s optimum. So when is optimum? That is a question I have yet to answer. Guess there is no rule of thumb as every wine is different. What makes wine interesting is that wine can go from a trough to a peak much like the economy. The difficult thing to determine is, when is wine in it’s dud year, versus when it is past it’s best drinking age? That is a very difficult question to answer and I guess the professional gauge this from the wine or vineyard’s history. This is one reason why older Chateau can charge more premium prices since there are proven records.
An interesting experiment IF you have the patient, time and space is…….buy 6-12 bottles of a wine you love. Remember to select wines that can be aged. Yes, not all wines are suitable for aging. That is a topic for another day. Drink it over the years and experience first hand how wine can evolve. Most of the time, patience does pay off. Obviously I am assuming that the wine has been correctly stored. My tip is when in doubt if the wine is past it’s best drinking age, Google is your best friend.
Has anyone experienced my “4 year dud” theory? If you have it will be interesting to hear you have to say?