components of the wine to settle in to each other and blend into something pleasing to the palate. Tannins, esters, phenols and much more are byproducts of the fermentation process along with alcohol and they need time to even out and meld together. A young wine can taste hot and unbalanced if it is tasted too early, but if you age a wine for too long some of these components can actually break down and lose their influence on the flavor or even become unpleasant. You want your wine to take off the boxing gloves, but you don't want it to lose all of its punch. Have you ever had a very old bottle that seems bland or uninteresting? It was probably aged beyond its peak.
Most commercial wines are sold at the beginning of their proper aging time and can benefit from some extra time in the bottle. All you need to do is give the wine the right temperature, light exposure and humidity to ensure that everything works out for you. Do some research about each bottle you want to age to find out what the peak aging time should be and label each bottle with the date it was purchased and the peak time period for drinking. This will help prevent the loss of a nice bottle to the ravages of time.
For many years I understood that wine needed aging to reach its peak, but it was not until I started making my own wine that I really understood how important aging really is to the wine making process. Young wine can be drinkable, but many of them smack you in the face like a set of boxing gloves wrapped around sloppily trained fists.
The aging process allows the different