What Are The Best Ways To Age Wine?

The expression, “Aged like a fine wine,” needs to come with a caveat: not all wines are destined for the long slumber in the cellar. 

Some are more like “live fast, die young” kind of stars. However, for those precious bottles that are meant to age gracefully, knowing the best ways to help them reach their potential can be the difference between a good wine and a really good wine. 

Let’s dip into some of the best practices for aging wine, so that when you do decide to pop that cork, it was worth the wait. 

1. Understanding Wine Aging Potential

Not all wines are cut out for aging—no offense to those wines…if they’re listening.

Time for some sommelier-speak. Generally, wines with a higher acidity, tannin level (in red wines), and residual sugar are the ones that age well.

These components act as preservatives, allowing the wine to develop complexity over time. 

So, before you consider aging a wine, research its aging potential or ask for advice from a trusted wine expert.

2. Optimal Storage Conditions

Creating the perfect environment for your wine to age is non-negotiable. 

The ideal conditions include a stable temperature around 55°F, humidity levels between 60% and 70% (I know, this sounds like a weather report) to prevent corks from drying out, minimal light exposure, and a vibration-free space. 

These conditions help slow down the aging process, allowing the wine to develop its flavors and aroma gradually.

3. Horizontal is the Way to Go

When storing wine, position is key. 

Bottles should be stored horizontally to keep the liquid up against the cork, which helps prevent it from drying out. A dry cork can lead to the end of the world. Actually, it can cause oxidation, which is the arch-nemesis of wine aging, turning your precious bottle into vinegar.

4. Patience is a Virtue

Aging wine is not for the impatient. 

It requires time and, well, more time. The aging process allows the wine to go through chemical reactions that enhance its bouquet and flavors, making it smoother and more enjoyable to drink. 

This could take years, or even decades, so it’s all about the long game. 

5. Regular Check-ins

While it’s important to let your wine rest, occasional check-ins are essential. 

This doesn’t mean opening the bottle, but rather monitoring the storage conditions for the sake of consistency. 

A quick visual inspection to check for leaks or any signs of cork damage can save your wine from premature aging.

Remember, no drinking it yet! 

Aging wine is an art and a science, requiring knowledge, the right conditions, and a good deal of patience. Remember, you can still drink wine you’re not aging while you’re waiting. 


If you couldn’t tell, we love wine, and we’ll prove it with our Mi Amore Wine Gift Basket. This gem is great for many occasions and includes TiAmo Prosecco, Tasso fig preserve, water crackers, wine cheese spread, Grisbi Italian lemon cookies, and two wine glasses. 


About BasketWorks

BasketWorks is a woman-owned gift basket company located in the north suburbs of Chicago (specifically Northbrook, IL) since 1997. We are proud to offer a variety of gifts and gift baskets appropriate for all occasions. Each of our packages is built to order, allowing for customization at no additional cost to our clients. Contact us today!

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