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 Filed as : Interviews

How Do You Know When A Red Wine Is Really “Mature?”

Mar 5, 2012
How Do You Know When A Red Wine Is Really “Mature?”
Acting Editor-in-Chief Karen MacNeil shares her expertise

karen_macnielIn response to our recent Daily Sip on “Deciphering Decanters,” one savvy community member asked the related question, “When is a red wine considered mature?”

The Daily Sip’s very own Acting Editor-in-Chief, wine guru and author of The Wine Bible, Karen MacNeil, provides an incredibly insightful response, as usual:

“The point at which a wine reaches maturity is, of course, one of the great unsolved debates of the wine world. And it’s largely subjective. In my personal opinion, a wine is mature when its components (acid, alcohol, tannin, and fruit) no longer stand out as isolated entities. In young wines, these components SHOULD stand out and be easily identifiable. But with maturity comes integration and harmony. Mature wines are, by definition, harder to describe (and write about) because their flavors and components have coalesced and become seamless.

Of course, wine is not a cake; and it is not ready at a given moment. There is no one time when maturity occurs, nor is maturity absolutely predictable. For this reason, people historically bought more than one bottle of wine so they could taste the wine over time and see for themselves how it was evolving.”

What have been the best “mature” wines that you have tasted? Share them below.


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