The majority of wines from across the world benefit with breathing (once the cork is pulled out), simply let the bottle stand upright for anywhere between 15min-1hr at room temperature (in reference to the prior storage details). The origin of the country varies, especially Italian reds, which by large, require more breathing time 2-3hrs.
Older wines aged anywhere from 5 to 20 years, including vintage Ports (Superior Vintage Ports can be decanted for up to 30 days), we advise to handle with care. Firstly upon pulling the cork, on older wines (10-20yrs) carefully pull the cork out, and avoid the cork crumbling. If the later happens, you will need to carefully pour the wine and crumbling cork over a tissue (kitchen towel is adequate) and slowly pour into a wine decanter (a slow but important process of age appreciation). This will also take care of the sediment from the wine, as in all old vintages, sediment forms at the bottom of the bottle, so it is vital to stand the bottle up for a night before opening, so that the sediment can carefully settle at the bottom of the bottle. We always recommend decanting wines with age (5 to 20 years) for the best drinking experience.
If you find upon pouring into the decanter or in the wine glass that the wine is cloudy, then it is past its life sadly. This is very common with Bordeaux, France. Auctions may be a popular place to find older vintages, but during their life-span, if the wine hasn’t been stored correctly, or has moved too many times, it is highly likely that it will be past drinking. Burgundies, France on the other hand tend to last much better than Bordeaux. Provenance of a wine is very important, especially when purchasing at auction.
In the case that upon opening the wine is colourful but smells odd, this is the reaction it is taking to adapt to the oxygen in the air, as it has been in the bottle for a large duration maturing. Wine is a living organism and is constantly changing, both for better or worse in the bottle. We have witnessed many wines in this state, and have been patient to wait, anywhere from 10min to 30min, sometimes with dramatic change in drinking. For any further information needed, please do not hesitate to ask. We can view your storage facility and advise further, if necessary.
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