The life cycle of wine
Throughout its life, the natural grape wine undergoes three stages: birth, maturation and aging.
- The Birth. Initial creation of a wine happens upon the end of fermentation. The constituents of the drink, and especially organic acids, undergo changes. Wine becomes smoother and more balanced as well as undergoes clarification.
- The Maturation. Maturation process lasts as long as fermentation goes. By this moment the proteins and dregs are settled. Wine becomes clear. During maturation wine becomes fitting for bottling, it means that it has already gained a stable bouquet, taste and aroma and is ready to go into a bottle. The process may vary in time since maturation can go in a bottle or in oak barrel. The youngest of matured wines is called must. The drink is considered to be young before the 1st of January of a year, that immediately follows the vintage year. Young wine is zingy, that’s why it is sometimes called bold. Each year the uniqueness of young wines is praised on such festivities as Beaujolais nouveau at the end of November.
- Aging. As any living creature, wine cannot escape aging. Nevertheless, old wines have special charm about them. Because of being isolated from oxygen and, therefore, from oxidation, wine gains smoother taste and aroma. Aging duration depends on many factors like type of wine, grape variety, vintage year and can last from 3 to 5 years.
Aged wines are similar to old paintings. Not everyone can afford them, their purpose is to become a part of a unique collection of a wine lover.