QUESTION: Everyone says that wine is made to age, but is an older vintage always better than a younger one?
ANSWER: Absolutely not. How well a wine ages depends on a number of factors, including the variety, the weather conditions during the growing season and, to some degree, the techniques used in the cellar when making the wine.
A few generalities…
* Red wines have the potential to age gracefully for longer periods of time than white wines.
* Wines age according to a curve; they will reach a peak at a certain point, but still be enjoyable for a certain period of time thereafter. They are not like milk, which turns sour and becomes undrinkable.
* The vintage can play a big role in how long a wine will age; that’s why some 2002 Cabernet Sauvignons are drinking beautifully now, while some 2004s are not.