During a recent special occasion, I decided to pull out some older wines to share. Not really old, but from 2010, 2009 and 2007. All were reds - a couple Barberas (a favorite of mine) and a Zinfandel.
These weren't amazing bottles to begin with or terribly expensive, but they were good enough that I had put them away in my wine refrigerator in a dark spot. So, the storage shouldn't have been an issue.
But, as the title of this blog indicates, it didn't go well. The corks all extracted well, with no obvious signs of trouble.
The 2010 Barbera's flavor had changed dramatically. What had been a smooth and well-rounded wine had become an off-flavored fruity wine. Again, it was somewhat drinkable, but nothing like when originally purchased. Strike one!
The 2009 Barbera, from a different winery, was heavily oxidized, brownish in color and nutty in flavor. Not drinkable. Strike two!
The 2007 Zinfandel was no longer anything like the Zinfandel it once was. Its flavors were very off and the bottle was quickly put aside. Strike three!
Fortunately, my wine refrigerator is well stocked and I was able to pull out a great bottle of Cabernet for the occasion.
The moral of the story - don't assume that your wines will hold up with age. If you like the way a wine tastes, drink it soon. Putting away wines for several years will change them. A few for the better, but often times the change is for the worse.