We all know that wine is better as it ages. But what many people do not know is exactly why wine is better when it ages. Most people never sit down to question it, instead pouring a tall glass of wine and indulging instead. But now you can learn what happens to wine in the aging process and fill those voids.
- In red wine, importantly, phenolic compounds de-nature over time causing them to form long chains. This process of polymerisation decreases their reactive surface and makes the wine less astringent: this is why reds become smoother with age.
- Some of these phenolic chains become so large they eventually precipitate as sediment
- With time, the vibrant purple and crimson hues of a red wine turn into vermilion and garnet, while the bright straw colour of white wine becomes increasingly golden and eventually amber.
“In this respect wine is like a kaleidoscope: the same elements constantly form new and often beguiling images. At no two junctures will a wine be the same.”