Does Vintage Matter?
According to Julie Glenn, one of America’s foremost wine columnist and blogger it does, dependent on how you are planning on consuming a particular wine. Obviously vintage is much more important to the wine collector than it is to the every-day wine drinker. The sage advice offered by most wine collectors is knowing how long to hold onto them. It is pretty much a gamble in that you don’t want to hold onto them too long so you buy enough of it that you can open one or two a year to see how it’s developing. It is interesting to watch a wine as it will change from year-to-year and if you find that it has peaked, then it’s definitely time to drink it.
What makes a vintage the most famous is the weather. If the climate has been overcast, rainy growing seasons aren’t good. If you have an average or slightly warmer temperature leading to an earlier harvest usually make for a better vintage year. Although good winemakers and vineyards can make a great wine our of a bad year, but knowing the producer and the microclimate of a particular wine can help you make a better choice in what wines to purchase and open over a particular timeframe.
The bottom line really is does vintage matter if you have a less rated wine in your refrigerator at the time you want a bottle of wine that is priced below $25? In most cases it doesn’t. Most of the non-collector wines are not meant to be aged but to be consumed fairly quickly. Budget-based wines can be drunk within a very short time after they are sold, so if you have an inexpensive with that is from many years ago, it’s best not to drink it. For daily-drinking wines look for the winery’s current release vintage and for whites, the younger the better and don’t buy inexpensive white wines that are more than a few years old. The internet offers a wealth of information on investment wines and there are vintage charts for any wine region you want to purchase wines from.