Which Wines are Worth Aging, and Which Ones You Should Just Drink Now

Collecting wine can start off as a hobby and develop into a true passion, but if you don’t have a place to properly store and age your wines then your dream of obtaining the best possible wine collection may very well be put on hold. For those wanting to get serious about their collection, we recommend adding a home wine cellar to your house. This way you’ll have the adequate storage and temperature available to you for your perfectly aging your wine. Once you have your dream cellar, you can begin collecting all the wine you could want.

Choosing the right type of wine to store in your cellar can prove to be challenging, though. Great wines develop over time and aging wine is something that can be overwhelming at first. There are many types of wines that can benefit from aging, but knowing what those are can be tricky if you aren’t an expert. Here are some suggestions on finding the right wine for your cellar.


The structure of the wine is an important factor in how well it will age. A wine’s structure is composed of four things: acidity, tannins, alcohol, and sugar. The attributes found in wine are natural preservatives.


You want to start by finding a wine where the acidity level is moderate to high, as wine will lose acidity over the aging process.


The tannins in the wine are what give it the color and flavor. As time goes by, the color of the wine will change as the tannins soften. The taste will become less harsh and bitter and will develop a stronger aroma.


You may be familiar with using sugar as a preservative for jams and jellies. That same ideology transfers to wines, and specifically, dessert or sweeter wines.


When it comes to alcohol content, the lower the amount, the better the wine will age. There are, of course, exceptions to the rule, however. Fortified wines, generally between 17-20% ABV, can also age really nicely.


After determining the structure of your wine, it is wise to make sure your chosen wine is balanced. This means that all of the components of the structure complement each other. You don’t want an unbalanced wine that has moderate alcohol content and acidity, high level of tannins, and no fruit.


Another aspect to consider when purchasing wine to age is where it is coming from. You should look into the history of that wine’s producer. Think about the environment where the vines are located, the enological practices, and the viticultural practices of the producer.

What Types of Red Wines Should You Choose to Age?

When you think of aging wine, typically dry, red wines come to mind. These types of wines will age the best, but which specific wines are worth storing and for how long? Here are our recommendations:

Drink in 1-2 Years

  • Gamay
  • Zweigelt
  • Primitivo

Drink in 3-5 Years

  • New world Merlot
  • Barbera
  • Zinfandel
  • Most pinot noirs

Drink in 5-10 Years

  • Old world Merlot
  • Syrah
  • Malbec
  • Chianti

Drink in 10-20 Years

  • Most Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Nebbiolo
  • Red Bordeaux
  • Barbaresco

What Types of White Wines Should You Choose to Age?

White wines are different from red wines in the sense that they typically will not age as long. Since they don’t have the same structural components of red wine, there are some factors you’ll want to consider when purchasing white wine to age. These factors include acidity, a touch of phenolic bitterness, and, in some whites, oak tannins. As long as the wine isn’t overly bitter and has good acidity levels, you can expect it to age moderately well. Here are a few of our white wine for aging recommendations:

Drink in 1-2 Years

  • Moscato
  • Prosecco
  • Pinot Grigio/Gris
  • Dry Riesling

Drink in 3-5 Years

  • Oaked Chardonnay
  • Trebbiano
  • Oaked Sauvignon Blanc

Drink in 5-10 Years

  • White Bordeaux
  • Muscat
  • White Rioja
  • Petit Manseng

Drink in 10-20 Years

  • Beerenauslese German Riesling
  • Hunter Valley Semillon
  • Sauternes

Create Your Dream Wine Cellar with Harkraft

Now that you have a basic understanding of what wines will age well in your cellar, you can begin your selection. If you haven’t yet dived into the creation of your dream wine cellar, Harkraft can help! With over 50 years of experience, we can customize your cellar to your taste, giving you the home wine experience you’ve always wanted.