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What is Pétillant Naturel?

Fun fact: Pétillant Naturel directly translates to natural sparkling. Let's dive into why it is named that, how this method of making sparkling wine came about, and why it's making an appearance again today!

Pétillant Naturel, Pét-Nat for short, is a style of sparkling wine characterized by light bubbles or effervescence. It is also called Méthode Ancestrale, the oldest style of producing sparkling wine! Pét-Nat is a simple, raw, and natural wine; even the simplest of wines can be beautiful and delicious.

Pét-Nat can be made from a multitude of grapes. Hawk Haven has produced a Malbec-Syrah Rosé blend and Pinot Noir Rosé. We are in the process of producing a NEW Albariño Pét-Nat. Very exciting and new!

We start the fermentation in the tank & monitor the depletion of sugar. We run sugar levels to get an accurate reading before bottling. When it gets to the level of sugar and CO2 that we desire, we bottle it!

To make Pét-Nat, wild yeast is added to the bottle with the wine grape juice. The yeast eats away at the sugar and has a byproduct of carbon dioxide, which gives Pét-Nat it’s light bubble characteristic! This is where the Pét-Nat finishes fermentation and becomes the delicious Pét-Nat we know and love.

Pét-Nat can be a little intimidating when it comes to serving and storing. It is a new trend so you might be asking yourself questions like: is the cloudiness bad? What is all of that stuff on the bottom of the bottle? At what temperature do I serve it? How do I open it?

If you are going to keep your Pét-Nat for a little bit we recommend storing it upright. There is no cork in the bottle so there is really no need to store it sideways, but if you do we recommend putting it upright before serving so the sediment travels to the bottom of the bottle.

Prior to serving, we recommend standing the bottle upright and place it in the refrigerator. You should get it to between 40 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the temperature at which you would typically serve a rosé.

Once you are ready to serve, pour slowly! This will allow the sediment to stay at the bottom while also controlling the overflow of bubbles in the glass. Cheers!

A Guide to Holiday Self Care

Self Care for the Pandemic Holidays

This year has already been pretty stressful...now we're adding the holidays filled with family obligations, shopping for the perfect gift, and making sure every stocking is hung with care (and perfection). Now it is more important than ever to remember that a little self care goes a long way.

Below are a few suggestions to get you on the right path. The recommended wines can be purchased by clicking the links at the bottom of the page. 

Treat Yourself

It is OK to shop for a gift for someone else and buy something for yourself at the same time. Read that again. If you're feeling stressed about finding the perfect gifts for others, just pop something in the cart for yourself and don't look back! We're ~all~ guilty of doing that... but we say nix the guilt.

Treating yourself can also be as simple as putting on your favorite Christmas movie and snuggling up in your warmest slippers with a cup of hot cocoa. While you're at it, pour in a little Hawk Haven Flying Press Red for the grown-up version! So what are you waiting for? Grab those slippers, pour that wine, and #treatyoself!


Sometimes self-care is a good work out. But let's not downplay the joy of indulging in your favorite treat or meal! It is comfort food season, after all. Chili mac & cheese... Chinese food... warm brownies or chocolate chip cookies right from the oven! You probably need to wine down a bit too. Grab a bottle of Hawk Haven Pinot Grigio for a crisp cooling glass of wine with a hint of sweetness to get you back to your vibrant self!

Home Spa

Draw yourself a bath, drop a bath bomb in there and set the mood with some candles and relaxing music. Add some calming scented oils like lavender or bergamot to a diffuser while you unwind with a glass of Hawk Haven Talon; the perfect wine to sooth your holiday stress.

Pro tip: send all members of the household out on a mission so you don't have any distractions!

Special Occasion with a nice bottle of wine

Create your own special occasion at home with the ideal bottle of wine, Signature Series Cabernet Franc! We suggest cooking up a nice London Broil and go nuts with your favorite side dishes. Bust out the china, light some candles, and put on a little Bublé. You can even create a fresh holiday centerpiece by cutting some greenery from outside. Invite your friends/family or create the whole experience for yourself. You deserve it!

Bucket List

Sit down, pour a glass of Hawk Haven Proprietor's Red Blend, and create your bucket list of personal care to dos! This will help you keep on top of that self care that is so important, not just this holiday season, but all year round. Here are a few more to get your started; feel free to add your own and let us know what you're doing to treat yo' self!

1. Meditate daily for 10 days
2. Take a masters class
3. Start a journal

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Herb and Butter Roasted Turkey with White Wine Pan Gravy

Source: Half Baked Harvest

Try the 2019 Riesling with this recipe for Herb and Butter Roasted Turkey with White Wine Pan Gravy
Source: Half Baked Harvest

1 (14-16) pound turkey, giblets and neck removed, patted dry
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons fresh sage, plus more for stuffing the bird
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, plus more for stuffing the bird
3 tablespoons fresh parsley
zest of 1 lemon
3 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1 piece large of double lined cheesecloth
2 lemons, halved
1 garlic head, tips sliced off
1 onion, halved
7-8 cups low sodium chicken or turkey broth
1 cup white wine
4 tablespoons salted butter
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
drippings from the turkey
2-3 cups low sodium chicken or turkey broth, as needed
1 tablespoon fresh chopped sage
kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

1. Remove the turkey from the fridge one hour before roasting. Remove the giblets + neck and rinse the bird off, pat dry and allow to come to room temperature.

2. Make the butter. In a medium bowl, combine the butter, sage, thyme, parsley, lemon zest, salt and pepper.

3. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Place the turkey in a large roasting pan.

4. Season the cavity of the turkey with salt and pepper and fill the cavity with the, lemons, garlic and onion. Gently lift the skin of the turkey by using your fingers and going in between the skin and body of the bird. Rub half of the compound butter under the skin of the bird, spreading some of the butter on top of the skin as well. Take the remaining butter and melt it over the low heat on the stove or in the microwave. Dampen your cheesecloth with warm water and squeeze dry. Submerge the cheesecloth in the melted butter, making sure all the cheese cloth has soaked up the butter. Lay the cheesecloth over the bird, covering most of the bird. Drizzle any remaining butter over the turkey.

5. Pour about 4 cups of chicken broth into the bottom of the roasting plan. Place the roasting pan in the oven and roast for 45 minutes at 450 degrees F. After 45 minutes reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. and continue cooking for another 2 hours (until the turkey registers 160 F. on a meat thermometer), adding 1-2 cup of broth half way through roasting. I like to baste the turkey with the drippings 2-3 times throughout cooking and when doing so rotate the roasting pan.

6. Remove the turkey from the oven and remove the cheesecloth, transfer the turkey to a baking sheet, tent loosely with foil and let rest 20-30 minutes before slicing.

7. Make the gravy. Strain the liquid from the roasting pan, skimming off most of the fat. I like to pour the broth into a 4 cup measuring cup and then place in the freezer for 10 minutes. This helps the fat rise to the top of the surface. Once you have skimmed the fat, add enough broth to equal about 4-5 cups total of drippings/broth.

8. Place the roasting pan over two burners and add a splash of wine (about 1/2 cup) to deglaze the pan. You want to scrape up all those brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Once the pan is throughly deglazed, add the butter and once melted, add the flour whisking to combine. Cook stirring constantly, until the mixture is golden, around 5 minutes.

9. Increase heat to medium high and add the remaining 1/2 cup of white wine, whisking as you go to let the wine reduce down. Slowly add reserved broth, stirring constantly, until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the sage and cook, continuing to stir, until the gravy has thickened to your desired thickness, around 8 to 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm with the turkey.

To save a little time, you can prepare the compound butter up to a week in advance. Just store, covered in the fridge until ready to use.

A Guide to Pairing Your Wine With Cheese

Sweet dreams are made of cheese, who am I to dis a ~brie~ !! We love cheese as much as the next person and what’s a better pairing than wine!? It’s the most classic pairing in the book and we wanted to explore it a little more and give you a guide on what wine to pair with the following six different styles of cheese, yes six! Let’s dive into the wine cellar and the cheese cave for the following delightful pairings.

First, not really out of the cheese cave, are our FRESH cheeses. These include mozzarella, feta, goat cheese (chèvre), and many more. These cheeses typically pair well with dry, light bodied wines with a lot of character. Some refer to fresh cheeses as being a blank slate because they do not have too much flavor to them because it is cheese in its youngest form; it has not been aged to develop a wide range of flavors. White wines with a lot of character like herbal notes, bright acidity, and a lighter body pair well because the herbaceous notes are writing all over the fresh cheese and creating a different flavor profile for these, once blank, fresh cheeses! Grab a Hawk Haven Signature Series Sauvignon Blanc and pair with Cypress Grove goat cheese, or the Signature Series Dry Rosé with feta cheese. You’ll love these pairings!

Dry RieslingBloomy cheeses are known for their thin white rind (that is totally edible and actually enhances the cheese flavor)! The most common bloomy cheeses are Brie and Camembert. They pair well with light bodied, unoaked wines due to the earthy nature of the cheeses. Another style of wine that pairs well with this creamy cheese is a sparkling wine, like Hawk Haven’s Signature Series Methode Champenoise Brut. Sparkling wine has high acidity and carbonation which acts as a palate cleanser to these creamier cheeses! Try pairing Brie with Signature Series Dry Riesling or Signature Series Pinot Noir Rosé.

Let’s dive a little bit into the stinkier cheese category, washed rind. The rind of these cheeses are washed in brine to open them up to certain bacterias that enhance flavors. Since they are a bit stinkier, they pair best with sweeter wines. But, there are cheeses in this category, like Muenster and Fontina, which aren’t so stinky and they pair well with Hawk Haven Signature Series Gewürztraminer, Signature Series Dry Pinot Grigio, or Hawk Label Pinot Grigio.

So far we haven’t paired any of the cheese categories with a red wine. Turns out, semi-soft cheese can be paired with lighter red wines. This cheese category includes Gruyere, Havarti, and many more! They pair well with medium bodied whites and barrel aged wines that do not have much oak. This is because these wines tend to be more fruity and have low tannins which pair well with the salty and nuttiness of semi-soft cheeses. Pair with Flying Press Red or Signature Series Viognier (say it with us, vee-on-YAY, cause these cheese pairings so far are to die for)!

Let’s get some more red wine in our lives, but this time let’s go bolder! Hard cheeses can stand up to bold red wines and oaked whites. We’re talking about Parmesan and Pecorino with those red wines and cheddar with an oaked white! We usually have Bellavitano Merlot cheese, a parmesan cheddar soaked in Merlot, try that with maybe…Hawk Label Merlot? If you have a favorite cheddar, pair that with Barrel Fermented Chardonnay!

The infamous blue cheeses, you either hate them or you love them! A more mild blue cheese will match the recommendations given for bloomy cheeses, so, light bodied, unoaked wines. But for the less mild blue cheeses they are best paired with sweeter or fortified wines to offset the bitterness in the blue marble; they compliment each other. One time, we paired Stilton Blue Cheese with Hawk Label Riesling and we can’t stop thinking about this drool-worthy pairing. Try the White Port (or any kind of port) with blue cheese, a winning pair as well.

Keep in mind that these are just guidelines for what to pair your wine with. You like what you like so, your pairings might look a little different! If they do look a little different or you are loving ours, let us know, hello@hawkhavenvineyard.com. We can’t wait to hear all about your wine & cheese pairing adventures!

Download the printable PDF here.


Do you know the Bishop of Norwich?

Neither did I, until I did a little research on Port wine in anticipation of our upcoming barrel tasting. Our wine maker Todd has been working on a white Port since before he and his wife opened the tasting room doors in 2009. “I wanted to make a port because I like the flavors and I wanted to add a dessert wine to our list.”

I believe it was in 2010 when I started working here and got to have a little sample of our ’08 White Port. I don’t usually drink this type of wine but it was delicious; sweet and nutty, like a toasted marshmallow or creme brulée. I asked him how soon we would be releasing it, excited to take home a few bottles of my own. “No, it’s not ready yet.” What???

So that was the first time I tasted it. Almost every year since then, he brings it out again to tease our taste buds. And every year, “No, it’s not ready yet. Just a little longer.” Why, Todd, why?

“We could have released some before but it wouldn’t have the complexity that it has now.”

Such is life, when it comes to good Port. It has been around for a very long time; it originated in Portugal where the oldest regulated and protected appellation exists, in the Douro River Valley. The wine is fortified using a distilled grape spirit like brandy. “This stops the fermentation,” Todd explained, “and retains the residual sugar of 10% and raises the alcohol to 18%.” If you’ve ever tasted our wines, you probably know our sweetest wine (the rosé) has only 2% residual sugar, and our average ABV is around 13%.

The wine is then added to oak barrels to age, but we only fill them about three-quarters of the way. This allows a small amount of oxidation to occur which lends a golden color and nutty flavors. And then we wait. And wait. And wait some more.

“Waiting so long allowed the wine to create much more complex aromas and flavors as well as an enhanced mouth-feel,” Todd told me. “This is also why we are only releasing 15 cases out of 100 this year; it will continue to get better with additional aging in the barrel.”

Six years later we are finally preparing to bottle this delicious drink, though only a limited quantity. If you’ve been following along this far, you might still be wondering who the hell is the Bishop of Norwich and what does he have to do with any of this?

Well, at British meals, it is tradition to pass the port to the person on your left immediately after pouring (get it? pass the port to port?). The bottle must continue from person to person, never touching the table until it is finished. If someone fails to do so, the other guests will ask, “Do you know the Bishop of Norwich?” This will either remind them to keep passing, or they’ll say no, at which point someone replies:

“He’s a terribly good chap, but he always forgets to pass the port!”

Try our 2008 White Port during our Barrel Tasting & Futures Sale on Saturday, February 21st and Sunday, February 22nd at the Hawk Haven tasting room.


Opening a bottle of wine can sometimes be the hardest part of service. In some circumstances, every single detail matters – from the way you hold the bottle, to where you cut the foil, to the number of turns of the corkscrew! But while cork has become synonymous with wine, that has not always been the case. In fact, in the grand scope of wine history, sealing bottles with cork is a relatively new
progression. At Hawk Haven, we use a variety of different closures for our bottles. Let’s dive into why cork became popular, what cork even is, and different types of closures now on the market.

Bottle Me Up
Archaeologists have found evidence of wine production as far back as between 8000 B.C. and 4100 B.C. in Armenia. Various containers have been used to ferment and store wine, ranging from Georgian earthenware vessels coated in beeswax, to Egyptian amphora, to the wooden barrels of Gaul. It wasn’t until technology advanced into the 1600’s that glass bottles came more onto the scene. The coal furnace allowed for thicker glass to be produced. Before these bottles, the vast majority of wine lasted less than a year before turning to vinegar. The vast majority of wine was still stored and transported in barrels, but the transition was slowly changing over to the smaller storage vessels. By the nineteenth century, it was common practice. These glass bottles also created the ability to store wine long-term and age the beverage.

Ancient Romans had experimented with cork, oil-soaked rags, and many other materials to stop their amphorae. It was the popularity of the bottle that truly brought cork onto the main stage. While cork stoppers aren’t perfect, they’re malleable and can keep oxygen out to help extend the shelf-life of a wine. The bottle plus the cork created a new possibility for the wine industry – collecting, cellaring, and relishing in rare and aged wines.

What Even Is Cork?
Cork closures come from the bark of the cork oak trees. It is one of the few natural products that is malleable enough to keep wine inside of a bottle and have the ability to be reused. Cork is a renewable resource, but requires a labor-intensive process for harvesting. The trees are not cut down, but actually have their exterior bark carefully peeled off. Only half of the bark is removed at one time. Most of the cork in the world comes from Portugal, followed by Spain. A few other countries in North Africa and Europe also produce cork, but at much smaller quantities: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Italy, and France. Cork trees need to be 25 years old before the bark can be harvested, and unfortunately many forests have been leveled to create space for other industries. This has created a very limited supply of natural cork, skyrocketing the price to be twice or thrice as expensive as other closure options. Additionally, natural cork has the possibility of having Trichloroanisole (TCA) or “Cork Taint” impact the bottle. This chemical is created by the chlorine from the external environment reacting with the natural lignin molecules in the cork. The TCA possibility, expense, and limited supply have driven winemakers to explore other ways to close a bottle, even creating different types of cork.

A “cork” can cover a lot of different closures to the average consumer. The historically most desirable are the 100% Natural Corks. These are one piece, and can come in different grades. These are the best option for aging wine, as their malleability keeps the seal of the bottle for the longest time. Breathing for aging wines is incredibly important, as many wines develop undesirable aromas when stored without oxygen. Natural Cork lets about one milligram of oxygen in per year. The next type of cork is a Colmated Cork. This closure is when a natural cork has its pores filled with a mixture of cork dust and glue. This process results in a smoother final cork that glides out of the bottle. A wine with this closure can still be aged for a medium amount of time. Next is a Multi-Piece Cork, where two or more large pieces of cork are glued together. These corks are more dense than natural corks, and are the only way to make corks to seal those giant wine bottles. It’s not recommended to age a wine that has one of these corks. Agglomerated Corks are the next on the list. The stopper is made from cork dust and glue. It is much less expensive than natural cork and much denser. The seal does not last for more than one year, so these corks are not recommended for aging. Technical Corks could be classified as a sub-type of Agglomerated Corks – they are Agglomerated Corks with two disks of Natural Cork on each end. This method can improve the seal of Agglomerated Corks, and ensures that the cork is uniformly dense throughout.

Other Types of Closures
The Stelvin
While the name “Stelvin” may not ring a bell, it is the technical patented name of the screw cap closure. These closures have been used for wine since 1964, but did not take off until the 1980’s. They
became popular because of a decrease in cork manufacturing that resulted in a higher frequency of cork taint. These closures are more affordable, easy to open, and still have the potential for long-term aging. Screw Caps have two parts – a metal cap and a liner inside the top of the cap that seals to the lip of the bottle. They are made from aluminum and plastic, which are not renewable resources. They are recyclable, but not biodegradable like cork. With modern technological advances, they now have the ability to allow a desired amount of oxygen in over time. This type of closure is preferred for wines meant to be consumed within a year or two of bottling.

Synthetic Cork, Crown Cap, and Vino-Seal
Synthetic Corks are made from Polyethylene,+ the same substance used to make milk bottles and plastic pipes. They now perform nearly the same as Natural Cork, without the possibility of cork taint. They do let in a bit more oxygen than Natural Cork, but they are very consistent in the amount of oxygen let in. This consistency makes it easier for winemakers to predict how a wine will taste in the future. Crown Caps are used for closing sparkling beverages, and are most commonly associated with beer. They are used in sparkling wine production before disgorgement – when the yeast is extracted from the bottle after secondary fermentation. Some producers are skipping removing the crown cap and are sending their wines out as is; this practice is especially common with the pétillant-naturel (“pet-nat”) style of sparkling wine. Vino-Seal is the glass stopper that was released in the European market in 2003. This sleek and reusable closure created a near perfect seal with the bottle. It is easy to open, but not easy with production. They are expensive and hard to use in most bottling machines.

Which Way is Best?
All in all, there is no “best” way to seal a bottle of wine. The different closures are all meant for various wine styles and cover different necessities. At Hawk Haven, we’re excited to keep experimenting with different closures for all of our different styles of wine. Next time you’re in our Tasting Room, keep an eye out for how many different closures we use!


When someone describes a wine as having “structure,” what does that really mean? And why is a liquid described as being “dry”? In this week’s Wine Wednesday, we’ll be exploring the four main components of structure: acid, sweetness, alcohol, and tannin. These four traits also can dictate whether or not a wine can be aged. We’ll discuss each of the four components, and hopefully dispel some myths and misunderstandings about wine!

All About Acid

Acidity is arguably the most important component in wine. Similar to how salt enhances food, acid in wine highlights and balances other components. It can make a wine seem lighter, drier, or crisper. Without it, wines can seem flat, flabby, and dull. Acidity makes your mouth water, which is the key indicator to a high acid wine. High acid wines are usually described as being “refreshing,” “zippy,” “bright,” and “mouthwatering.” The main types of acid in wine are tartaric, malic, and lactic. The first two come from the natural grape juice, and the last is a byproduct of malolactic fermentation. In sweet wines, the acid is there to balance, not dominate. It plays a similar role as the acid in lemonade: you don’t necessarily notice when it is there, but the drink becomes tooth-achingly sweet when it isn’t. Similarly, in acidic wines, sweetness can help balance the tartness. Regardless of how much sugar is in a wine, a mouth-watering sensation is the tell-tale sign of a wine with acid.

A Spoonful of (Residual) Sugar?

The most contentious component in wine is sweetness. Some people will turn their nose away at the mention of any residual sugar, while others will search out a wine with the highest sweetness. While some people may claim that a wine “smells sweet,” sweetness refers to the actual presence or absence of sugar in a wine. When a wine has ripe fruit characteristics, many people confuse this with sweetness. Sweetness also is the first impression from tasting a wine. It can make a wine seem more full-bodied, and the presence or absence of other structural components can impact the perceived sweetness. Sweetness is broken down into five main categories:

  • Bone Dry: less than 0.1% Residual Sugar (RS), or less than 1 gram per liter (g/L)
  • Dry: between 0.1% and 1% RS, or 1-10 g/L
  • Off-Dry: between 1% to 3% RS, or 10-35 g/L
  • Sweet: between 3.5% to 12% RS, or 35-120 g/L
  • Very Sweet: 12% to 22% RS, or 120 to 220 g/L

FACT: Cola has around 105 g/L of sugar, yet most people do not perceive it as being super sweet because of the acid and carbonation.

Bring on the Booze

If a wine is described as being “hot,” this phrase means that the wine is high in alcohol. Alcohol contributes to the weight of a wine, and should be one of the least obvious characteristics while tasting wine. The drinker should not be able to taste or feel the alcohol. Alcohol creates the warming sensation towards the back of the mouth, but it should not be so obvious as to create a “dragon breath” feeling. Wines have, on average, between 11% and 13% alcohol by volume, or ABV. They can range from 5.5% to as high as 20% in some places. Usually, wines from warmer climates will potentially have high alcohol wines, as the heat from the sun can help develop higher amounts of sugar in their grapes. Alcohol is a by-product of the fermentation of the natural sugar in grapes. If alcohol is added to a wine, the wine is considered to be a fortified wine rather than a table wine. Viscosity, or legs, in a dry wine can indicate the alcohol level by the rate of evaporation. In a sweet wine, the legs could indicate both sweetness and alcohol.

MYTH: “More legs mean the wine is a higher quality.” Legs in a wine are not an indication of quality as much as alcohol content, and in some cases, residual sugar.

Why is My Mouth So Dry?

Tannic wines are often confused with dry wines. After all, if a wine creates a drying sensation in your mouth, doesn’t that mean it’s a dry wine? The drying effect is actually caused by tannins, which are polyphenols that combine with protein. Specifically, when the tannins in wine combine with the protein in your saliva, it makes your mouth feel dry. Tannins are found in the skins, seeds, and stems in grapes; these tannins create sensations more towards the sides and front of the mouth. Wines can also get tannin from aging in oak barrels; these tannins will taste more towards the center of the tongue. Tannins can also be found in chocolate, tea, pomegranate, and apple skins. Ripe tannins can add textural richness to a wine, while unripe tannins will have a harsh astringency. Tannins are often described as either bitter or astringent because of the sensation created. Since tannins combine with proteins, high tannin wines are perfect for rich, steak dinners.

MYTH: “I can’t drink wine because I’m allergic to tannins.” While this is not completely a myth because it is possible (though very rare) to have a tannin intolerance, other culprits of that wine headache could be sulfites (also rare), histamines, or just plain over-indulging. However, the amount of tannins, sulfites, and histamines in wine are on average significantly lower than a variety of common foods like dried fruits, burger meat, fish, and coffee.

Wines that Can Age

Acid, sweetness, alcohol, and tannin all contribute to the body of a wine. Disregarding packaging (but see our article about  corks and other closures), these same components can affect a wine’s ability to age. Wines that are meant to age might not drink very well now. Wines are still developing even when placed in a bottle, and may balance out over time.

Acid is very important when aging wines, as wines with higher acidity will last longer than low-acid wines. Acid evaporates over time, and the wine will flatten out.

Tannin will also smooth out over time. The tannin molecules, when young, repel against each other. As they age, they lose their charge and combine to form larger, heavier chains. This formation has a reduced surface area than the individual molecules, and will therefore taste smoother and rounder. If these chains become large enough, they will actually fall out to form sediment in a wine. Tannin also helps preserve a wine with its antioxidant properties.

Lower alcohol in non-fortified wines last much longer than higher alcohol. Alcohol will actually cause the wine to become vinegar faster. The best wines for aging will be below 13.5% ABV, except for fortified wines averaging between 17-20% ABV, which will last much longer.

Residual Sugar will also help a wine age. Some of the longest living wines are sweet wines, such as Port, Sherry, and Sauternes. When a wine ages, the primary flavors (such as fruit and floral notes) will fade away, and the tertiary notes (such as dried fruit, honey, and mushroom) will come forward. The color will also change over time, with whites moving towards amber hues and reds showing hints of tanned leather shades.

If you are planning to age your wine, make sure they are stored in a dark place that has a steady temperature between 53° and 57°F.

MYTH: “The older a wine is, the better it is!” Most wines are not meant to be aged, or at least not for very long, and not everyone will like the taste of very old wine. If you’re not sure, ask a staff member (whether you’re at a winery or a liquor store). Otherwise, life is short, so open and enjoy!