GUIDE TO DRINKING OLDER WINES

Older wines require a bit of care when opening and serving so here is the Corkr guide to opening and serving wine with a bit of age to them!

Step 1

old1

An aged wine may contain quite a lot of sediment that doesn't taste that nice and turns the wine cloudy. Ideally you should store the bottle upright for a couple of days before you intend to open it to allow the sediment to fall to the bottom of the bottle. When preparing to open the bottle, keep it upright and try to avoid shaking up the sediment.

Step 2

Carefully cut the capsule (the outer sheath covering the cork) to reveal the cork. There may be some general grime and dust - but don't worry that's a normal side effect of being left alone for so long! Older wines may have a lead capsule instead of an aluminium one, and if that is the case make sure that you give the rim of the bottle a wipe with a damp cloth to remove any trace lead particles.

Step 3

old2As corks get older they can sometimes crumble as you try to remove them. Lever corkscrews (the ones with arms that you push down and the cork is pulled up) work best here, try and avoid the 'waiter's friend' style if you can. Insert the corkscrew into the cork and very gently remove the cork. If the cork does snap (which is not uncommon) insert the corkscrew into the middle of the cork and try again.

Step 4

Now you can decant the wine into a suitable container. old2You don't need to buy a special decanter, although they do add to the occasion. Somewhere where there is a lot of light, or over a lamp or candle, slowly pour the wine into your chosen vessel in one smooth motion, do not allow the wine to slosh back into the bottle. Whilst you are pouring keep an eye on the neck of the bottle. Stop pouring when you start to see the sediment in the neck of the bottle. There should be about a couple of table spoonfuls of wine left in the bottle.

If you did not have time to store the bottle upright for a couple of day it is possible to strain the wine through some muslin or a fine mesh, just make sure that whatever you are filtering the wine with does not impart its own flavour, like damp paper if you filter through a coffee filter!

Step 5

The most important bit, enjoy the wine! Older wines can change quite dramatically over the course of a bottle as they react with the oxygen that they had been deprived of for so long, therefore, you may find the wine takes a little while to open up and blossom and then they may fade quite rapidly after a few hours exposed to the air.