Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Take TEN Minutes and....

Stash Some Wine Away.

With a little patience, you can turn a $6 bottle of wine into something much finer. It is a simple habit to get into, takes almost no time and effort, and rewards you handsomely down the road -- but most just don't take the few minutes required to set it up and get started!

We all get lovely bottles of wine as gifts now and then. We also get not so lovely bottles of wine (which still have potential). Our accessible wine racks usually include a few bottles which are fine to drink now, but would be so much better -- perhaps even approaching greatness -- if they were just tucked away for a couple of years before enjoying.

All you need is wine shipping box or simple wine rack, a sturdy shelf, and a dark cool location. (under the stairs, an out of the way part of the garage, even a closet will work.)
MrMartha selects wine which will age successfully according to a very private algorithm: 1 part knowledge, 1 part attractiveness of the label, and 1 part pure guessing.

White wines in general can benefit from a year, possibly two of storage, Good Chardonnay and sturdy sweet wines can store quite a bit longer. Rieslings and very fruity whites should not be aged too long as they are better young.

Good Red Wines can benefit greatly from 3-4 years of storage, Sturdy varieties like Cabernets can go longer.

As a rule, lesser quality wines should be stored for shorter periods. Also, the warmer your storage location, the less time you should store. MrMartha usually writes the year and variety in ink on a removable adhesive label and attaches that to the bottle neck. Then it is easy to tell at a glance what has been stored away.

Don't feel like you have to sock away a case of wine immediately, just stash a couple of bottles every few months -- and add to it regularly, but put away several bottles if there is an exceptional sale on something you like.

Take ten minutes now, then give yourself a couple years, and enjoy MUCH BETTER wine!