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White Wine to Lay Down

Aug 17, 2007
Most people are aware of the general rule that white wines should not be aged. For example most Californian wines are meant to be consumed immediately and should never be aged. Generally white wines should not be aged because they are low on tannis and it is the tannis present in red wine which allow it to age so comfortably.

Aging wine normally smooths out the overall flavour of the wine allowing it become more harmonious, balanced and mellow which is fine for reds. There is however the little known exception to the rule.

Wine is a complex breathing substance. A bottle opened now will taste very different opened several years from now. What you should end up with after a few years of proper aging is more complexity to the flavour of the wine because the bitter astringent flavoured tannins precipitate out, acids lose a bit of their bite, and the taste of fruit comes out more.

But remember not aging white whine is a guideline and not a hard and fast rules. The exception to the rule are some French white wines which mature over several years. White wines of the Loire Valley typically improve with being aged from 5 to 15 years depending upon the AOC and the vintage. A new bottle of French Loire Valley white wine may be good, but a properly aged bottle is even better.

The Loire is France's last great unrecognized wine region. Some of France's best winemaking occurs in the Loire though few Americans are aware of it. Even many French are unaware of some of the gems now being produced in the Loire Valley. But sommeliers, wine-bar and wine-shop owners, the wine press from Paris, London Brussels and Tokyo in the know spend their vacations visiting the Loire Valley.

Balmy ocean air sucked up the corridor of the Loire River and its tributaries brings a tempering maritime influence far into France. The Loire Valley competes only with Paris and the French Riviera as the most popular tourist destination in France.

Among its sixty-odd appellations are perennial favourites like Sancerre and Pouilly Fume, bistro classics like Muscadet, extraordinary sweet white whines like Bonnezeaux and Vouvray. Vouvrays are gorgeous wines, some of the longest-lived and most complex white wines of the world.

The Loire's major white grapes are Chenin Blanc, Muscadet and Sauvignon Blanc. Each of these grapes are cultivated in other parts of the world, but the Loire Valley establishes the benchmark.

The best advice is to take a wine tour of the Loire Valley. No other wine region in France welcomes visitors with such warmth or simplicity.
About the Author
Corina Clemence runs Chateau du Guerinet, near Blois a luxury chateau up to 15 people perfectly located for sampling Loire Valley wine and visiting historic chateau. Rent a castle in France http://www.loirechateau.com Rent a French Chateau
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