what is the difference between OLD wine from NEW wine? tnx

Answer From Expert Roger Bohmrich MW

Wine is a fermented beverage, yet new or young wine, recently bottled, seems "fresh" and exhibits varying aromas that we commonly identify with fruits (apples, citrus, cherry, plum, etc.), perhaps along with the influences of wood treatment (vanilla, clove, coconut, etc.). They also may have the sharpness of acidity and the astringency of tannin. When a wine is young, these characteristics often seem quite pronounced and separately identifiable. Most of the wine produced in the world is intended to be consumed "new" on release from the winery, or within a few years thereafter. Wine in bottle undergoes changes if held for longer periods; the onset and evolution of noticeable changes depend principally on the type of wine, the vintage and storage conditions. Very few wines can in fact hold up with lengthy bottle aging. A wine may be considered "old" - and certainly unpalatable - when it has turned or spoiled, becoming brown and taking on a sharp, volatile aroma. On the other hand, the best old (red) wines are magnificent, with astonishing, complex bouquets with accents of leather, leaf, cedar and dried spices together with velvety smooth palates and very long aftertastes. Gone are the "fruity" aromas and the roughness of tannins. These are the wines of legend that collectors seek out for their cellars.

About The Expert

Roger has enjoyed a lengthy career in the wine trade as an importer and retailer, and at present he is an educator, speaker and consultant. He set up and managed Millesima USA, a New York merchant affiliated with a leading European company. Previously, he served as senior executive of importers Frederick Wildman & Sons. In recent years, Roger has judged wine competitions in Argentina, Turkey and China. Roger became one of America's first Masters of Wine in 1993.

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