Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don't worry, I'm no wine snob—you can also ask me those "dumb questions" you're too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don't forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
Do all wines improve with age?
—John, Manitowoc, Wisc.
Wines should taste good when you buy them. There are some very special wines that will further evolve—with the right storage conditions—into lovely mature wines. As they age, their aromas and flavor profiles will change, but whether that is for the better or worse is a matter of taste: Fruit flavors fade into the background, while earth, mineral, mushroom, floral and nutty notes become more prominent. If you’ve never tried an aged wine, you might be surprised by how it tastes.
That’s to say, while it’s a nice thought to purchase wines to store for later and see how they evolve, I wouldn’t recommend making that your primary strategy unless you’re certain that you like the taste of mature wines.