Every wine lover knows that time is a decisive factor in the flavor of a broth. A period that is responsible, in short, to refine or finish rounding your personality. But, going a step beyond all those phrases, quotes, and sayings about wine that testify how important time is, it is vital to understand what the aging of the wine is like. This way we will be able to fully understand its weight in the glass that we enjoy.
And it is that, as much as many believe that the aging of the wine is only an addition, nothing is further from the truth. It is not just the time that passes from the fermentation of a broth until it is ready to be savored. It is also a differentiating element in itself. A detail that, in the world of wine, goes far beyond a mere aroma or a certain flavor. It can, in fact, completely change the character of a certain broth.
Let’s see what the aging of the wine means. And what is even more important: how it affects the flavor and even the texture of a broth.
Stages of the aging of the wine
Surely, at some point, you have found yourself in the situation of choosing between different wines wondering what the differences are between Crianza, Reserva, and Gran Reserva. And yes: surely you also know that it is a mere matter of time. What is perhaps less well known is that this so-called aging time is not only a long and delicate process: it is also a complex moment responsible for conferring certain qualities on a broth.
The aging of the wine is carried out in two well-differentiated phases: the oxidative phase, which takes place inside the barrel; and the reducing phase, which is lived inside the bottle. For the correct aging of a broth, it is essential that it lives both. The time of each one of them depends more on the composition of the wine and the hand of the oenologist than on any other rule.
Let’s understand both phases:
Aging in barrels: it is probably one of the most delicate moments in the aging of any wine. During the barrel aging stage, not only the quality of the fermented must come into play. There are also other variables to consider, such as the material in which the barrels are made or their type of wood. The magic of barrel aging (aging of the wine in the barrel) is, fundamentally, that the wood gives the wine certain aromatic nuances that will become part of the tannins of a broth.
But not only the wood is the trigger for the chemical reactions that take place inside a barrel. In addition, the porosity of the wood and the passage it involves of oxygen is also key to the evolution of the wine inside. A fundamental factor to which two last details should be added: the humidity of the place where the barrels are located, and the lack of light play the rest.
Aging in the bottle: after aging in the barrel, it is time to rest inside the bottle. Its aging conditions are extremely similar to those of barrel aging: the bottles must be kept in cool, underground spaces with a stable temperature and in the absence of light. The ideal conditions for the wine to finish rounding itself, in part thanks to the minute amounts of gases that penetrate the interior of the bottle through the cork.
Throughout these two processes, the initial broth has undergone significant changes. It has not only changed its nuances or, even, but it has also been enriched with regard to the different aromas of the wine. It has also modified its color and texture. That is what is gained in the aging of the wine.