Tag Archives: germany

What Makes Wine Age Well?

Cheese, balsamic vinegar, and wine are examples of just a few items in a human’s diet that get better with age. 

We have to ask, though, what makes wine age well?

First, it’s important to note that because of the production process, all wine is aged to a certain extent. While certain red wines progress through the fermentation stage for years, white wines typically do not need as much time before they are bottled and sold. 

So, how can you determine which wines will age well?

One way to determine this, according to Binwise, is to pay attention to the wine’s sugar content. The higher the sugar content, the better wine will do with time. Ports and dessert wines tend to have much higher sugar levels and can age well for up to 100 years!

Higher levels of acidity can also help a wine age better and last longer. The longer a wine ages, the more it loses its acidity and “flattens,” so starting with higher levels will help it last for the long haul. 

After the wine is bottled, certain chemical reactions occur through aging and result in the formation of phenolic compounds. Tannins, the most popular for these compounds, alter the character of the wine, including mouth feel, flavor profile, color, and aroma. Wines with higher levels of tannins that are also well-balanced will smooth out over time. 

In non-fortified wines, alcohol levels can cause the wine to turn vinegary at a much faster rate. In general, the lower the alcohol level (13.5% or below) in non-fortified wines will age the best, while an ABV percentage of 17-20% in fortified wines will last the longest.

If you’re looking for varietals to age in a collection, we recommend the following from King Frosch:

Specialty Wines:

Reds:

Whites: 

The chart below is also a useful tool to help you determine which wines will age well, and which should probably be enjoyed immediately.  

Sources:

How to Age Wine & the Best Wines to Age | Aged Wine Guide

4 Traits of Wines That Age Well

Drunk, In Love, Or Both?

Happy Valentines Day, everyone! We’ve all heard the saying “drunk in love,” and if you’ve ever experienced love or drunkenness, you might be able to draw some similarities between the two feelings. Both make you feel blissful, rather invincible, and when the effects wear off, sad or depressed. As it turns out, a study published in a 2015 edition of the Neuroscience and Behavioral Reviews explores the effects of both oxytocin (also known as the love hormone,) and alcohol on the brain. What resulted were nearly identical results!

Oxytocin is released during skin to skin contact, and is why physical contact with someone else feels good. Alcohol has similar effects, but instead of natural production by the body, it is the product of sugar, fermenting yeast, and starches. Both of these compounds cause lowered inhibitions and help people take that “leap of faith,” also known as “Dutch courage.” 

So, we hope you enjoy your Valentines Day and maybe even experience a bit of that “drunk in love feeling,” whichever way you choose to achieve it!

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The 2020 Wrap Up

Now that 2020 is behind us (and we have 2020 vision!) it’s time for a year-end wrap up.

Overall, the 2020 vintage produced a very high quality throughout Germany. The country experienced a warm and sunny spring, but a frost in mid-May, which unfortunately resulted in damage and yield loss in some regions.

The main grape harvest began at the end of August, which is approximately 8 to 10 days earlier than average. Good weather continued throughout the summer into September. According to the German Wine Institute, “the red varieties in particular benefited from the warm weather… [and] will get even better as they further ripen in the cellar.” The vintage was crowned on November 30th with a successful harvest of frozen grapes for ice wine.

In total, the harvest volume of 2020 is two percent lower than the 10-year average due to the aforementioned frost. The pricing is also rather stable without including the impacted regions.

Prost und zum Wohl!

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