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Richards comments lead to this ealier post on temperature/ageing

December 24 2002 at 12:24 AM
IanS  (no login)

Response to Do big bottles actually taste better, or,


Do European wines, particularly Bordeaux's, cellar as long, or take as long to reach their maximum potential in warm places (like California and Australia), as they might in a cooler cellar in Europe?

Unless the wine in stored for virtually all its life in a refrigerated cabinet, surely the average cellar temperature must be at least a few degrees higher? That being the case, the chemical reaction (wine ageing) must take place faster. Even that is ignoring the effects of a possible long period of time baking in a container while in transport in the middle of summer.

If the ageing is taking place in a shorter time frame, is the end result as good? I will take as a given a stable temperature whatever the actual number.

Concrete for instance, (now there is a strange analogy), sets stronger the cooler and therefore slower the chemical reaction takes place (above freezing).

It would be an amazing coincidence if the best temperature for storing wine 'just happened' to be the temperature of French cellars. That said, there is probably no use going too cool just to have the wine age longer, if the end result is no better.

Has anyone tasted an 'old wine', the same bottle/vintage in both California and Europe, in a time frame close enough to make a fair comparison?

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