- A constant 58 degrees (60 and even a little higher or lower is fine, as long as it’s consistent)
- No aromas (a musty basement isn’t ideal and especially if you’re fermenting fun things like sauerkraut or kimchi in the cellar, this should be far away from your “wine cellar”)
- No vibrations (I used to have a drum set and there was a time I needed choose between that and vinous delights. Guess which I elected…)
- Humidity is key. It cannot be too damp (labels will peel and mold) nor too dry (corks will dry out)
3. Look for wines with higher acidity (sometimes look at alcohol content; usually a wine with 14+% alcohol doesn’t have as high of acidity as a wine with 11%. This is a gross, blanket statement but don’t assume bigger body (higher alcohol) makes for better aging. Ask someone at your local wine shop which wine has higher acidity and bones to age; they should be able to help.
4. Some wines that are inexpensive and fun to age (keep in mind, these are general categories and choosing a winemaker that is farming sustainable/organic/biodynamic fruit is key as is someone choosing to ferment their wines with native yeast and adding as little sulphur/additives as possible):
- Muscadet (white wine from the Loire that is briny, light, and with plenty of acidity. These wines can get leesy and with notes of years and bread dough as they age)
- Beaujolais (underestimated in a world of red wine aging. These are usually medium-bodied with plenty of acidity and when you get a great producer (Guy Breton, Marcel Lapierre, results after five years of age can be spellbinding!)
- Champagne (almost always fun to age a few years and almost always resulting in a creamier, more succulent version of its former self)
- New California (a lot of the more natural-oriented producers are making wine with higher acid levels and less weight than ten years ago. The results are fun to track!)
- Riesling! (German/Austrian Rieslings can be quite dry and when they’re of good quality, aging them for three-ten years brings out their regal grandeur! Don’t be afraid of a little sweetness out of the gate – this quality can fade with age)
- Such a limited list! Experiment and when you pull the trigger on a bottle, remember to purchase two so you can try the wine its youth and when you finally decide to pop the cork.
Originally aired Wednesday, May 22, 2019 on the Morning Show with Emily Reese.