Aging Gracefully: Birth Year Wines

There is something romantic about drinking something that is just as old as you are. Caveat: only when it is meant to be aged. If you find a bottle of Kendall Jackson Chardonnay that has been sitting in the back of your mom’s pantry since the 1970s, I do not suggest planning a meal around drinking it. Only about 1% of the world’s wine is meant to be aged. A decent rule of thumb: wines under $30 are meant to be enjoyed right now, most wines over $30 can age for five years or more. Only some wines are meant to be aged for 20-30 years. The wines need to have enough alcohol, acidity, and structure and/or sugar to hold up to the test of time. Reds will get lighter in color, and the fruit aromas will change from fresh to dried. White wines will grow darker in color and develop nutty aromas.

I collect my brother’s birth year: 1996. There is simply more of it available than mine. I have clients who collect their children’s birth years. You don’t even have to collect… that makes it sound like such a chore. Buying a special bottle of Bordeaux to enjoy when your child graduates from college. I will always recommend buying a case of dessert wine to serve at your child’s wedding with cake instead of champagne. One of my favorite gifts I ever put together for a client was a belated wedding gift. For his sister’s five-year anniversary, I found five bottles from the year they got married. Each bottle was tagged with which anniversary they should drink it on. Doesn’t that just make you smile?

If you are interested in sourcing vintage specific wines shoot me a note- we will find you something perfect!