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Haltbarkeit und Lagerung

Die Haltbarkeit von Weinen kann nur geschätzt werden.

Wine ripens in the barrel. With the bottling, its development is not yet complete. In the bottle, it rarefies itself – over months, sometimes over years or even decades. The latter, is only applies for markedly premium wines. 
It has been ascertained, that almost each purchased bottle of wine, is consumed within 48 hours. This means, that hardly no one buys wine anymore, in order to store it for years.

The cellarers
have prepared for that and there are wines produced increasingly today, which are quickly ripe for drinking and do not have to be stored by the customer. That is reason, why most wines are suited for immediate consumption, the issue storage life, takes a backseat. 

Storage life of white wines: Nowadays, most wines are produced for immediate consumption: i.e.

  Vintage Availibility on the market Drink up until
Northern hemisphere Sept. / Oct. approx. Feb. - April of next year April of following year
Southern hemisphere January approx. March - May March of following year

This especially applies to the light white wines from Europe, as they taste better fresh, because then the flavours are crisper.  As the vintage on the southern hemisphere takes place already in January, the wines make it to the market in the same year (from March on). Exempted from this rule, are strong white wines e.g. from Burgundy, Bordeaux, Alsace or Loire (Sancerre, Muscadet), that absolutely give optimal drinking enjoyment for several years.
White wines

Italy
Chardonnay / Frascati        
Galestro        
Prosecco        
Soave      
Lugana      
Gavi      
South Tirol white wines      
Pinot Grigio (Venetia)      
Orvieto (Umbria)      
Vernaccia di S. Gimignano (Tuscany)      
White Burgundian(Friaul)    
Sauvignon (Friaul)    
 
Spain
Rioja (white)        
Albarino      
 
California, Australia
Sauvignon blanc  
Semillon  
Fumé Blanc  
Chardonnay
1-2 1-3 1-5 2-5 2-8
*stated in years

Storage life of red wines: Due to their structure and the existing tannins, red wines are generally longer durable than white wines. Light red wines should be consumed within 2-3 years.

Strong Red wines
are mostly  5 years storable (Chianti Classico Riserva, Rioja Reserva, strong wines of the New World as well as French red wines). The absolute premium wines can tolerate 10, 15 or even 20 years of storage: Brunello di Montalcino, Barolo, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, first class Bordeaux wines.

Red wines

Italy
Kalterer See                  
Valpolicella classico                
Sangiovese della Romagna                
Barbera (Piemont)                
Chianti Classico (Tuscany)              
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (Tuscany)            
Torgiano Riserva (Umbria)          
Brunello di Montalcino (Tuscany)        
Barolo, Barbaresco (Piemont)  
 
Spain
Pla de Bages          
La Mancha          
Navarra          
Rioja    
Vega Sicilia
2 2-3 2-7 3-8 2-10 3-12 3-15 2-20 5-20 2-25
* stated in years
Storage of wine

Wine should strictly be stored lying horizontally, so the cork does not dry out.

The bottles must be protected from light, otherweise the colour might change – white wine becomes darker, red wine gets lighter. If there is no dark room existent, the bottles may be stored in the cardboard box.

The wine cellar should not be overly dry (the cork might dry out) and not too moist (the labels might peel away or get mouldy).

The temperature should not fluctuate, for that reason – and due to vibration – refrigerators are unsuitable for long-time storage.

Gauge

A clear indication for the fact, that a wine should be drunk, is the sinking fluid level in the bottle. The natural material cork, does not let fluid leak, however an exchange of gases occurs. This may lead to the degradation of the wine. Purchasing old wines, you should also mind the filling level! 

What to do with broached bottles?

Wine may not become bad, but after all unenjoyable – which is also a pity. Bottles, that have not been emptied, are being sealed – best with a cork – and should be consumed the following day. As long as a young wine is concerned, it will still taste full-bodied, whereas older wine loses remaining open. 
 
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