Oct 21 2022

A Guide to Maturing Wine

Typically speaking, the things we eat and drink worsen with time; however, the opposite can be said for wine. With the right storage, such as a wine cellar, certain wines have the capacity to thrive. Despite this, even experienced wine collectors struggle to establish which wines are suitable for maturing and how they go about achieving this. So, how do you know whether a wine is “mature-worthy”?

Does Wine Mature?

Before we go on to discuss how to age wine, we must first establish whether wine actually does mature. In short, yes, wine does mature in the bottle. Despite this, not every wine should be purposefully aged in its bottle. Around 90% of wines are intended to be drunk immediately after bottling or a maximum of five years after bottling.

Wine Ageing Guide

So, wine does mature, but how do we make sure we’re facilitating this effectively? At the very least, wine should be shielded from air exposure to prevent oxidisation and bottle shock. After this, one must decide how long they wish to age their wine before drinking it. The Coates’ Law of Maturity states, “a wine will remain at its peak or optimal drinking quality for a duration of time that is equal to the time of maturation required to reach its optimal quality.”

Wine experts across the globe have repeatedly tested Coates’ theory in an attempt to disprove it but to no avail. Therefore, anyone just starting out in maturing wine can use this as a reliable rule of thumb.

The Best Wines to Mature

Once you’ve got the basics of wine maturing covered, you may be wondering which wines are best for ageing. Well, those with the best structure age the most gracefully, and this structure is most commonly bestowed via tannins, grape skins, and seeds. As a result, red wines are usually the best for maturing; however, white wines can occasionally be aged, too. Similarly, maturing cooking wine isn’t worth your time, as this gets reduced during the cooking process.


The best-matured red wines tend to be Syrah, Malbec, Nebbiolo, Cabernet Franc, Monastrell, Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Port. This is because they are full-bodied wines with robust structures, meaning other varieties with these qualities will also age well.


As previously mentioned, white wine doesn’t typically benefit from maturing; however, there are some with a firm structure that will age well. These include Semillon, white Bordeaux, Viognier, Riesling, Chardonnay, and Chenin Blanc.

Ageing Wine Chart



Maturing Window (Years)



2 – 12



3 – 15



5 – 10

Cabernet Franc


5 – 12

Cabernet Sauvignon


5 – 25



7 – 20



10 – 30



10 – 50



15 – 40



0 – 5



1 – 5

Chenin Blanc


1 – 7



2 – 7



2 – 10

White Bordeaux


3 – 5


How Long Can You Mature Wine?

The above table details just how long every type of wine should be aged for; although some wines can take up to 40 years, the majority won’t need longer than two or three years to reach full maturity.

Can You Mature Any Bottle of Wine?

While it’s absolutely possible to mature any bottle of wine, this doesn’t necessarily mean you’d want to. Some wines will present issues after being matured for too long, such as bottle shock. Therefore, you should always conduct thorough research before you embark on your ageing journey. Despite this, if you have a large wine collection that you’d like to experiment with, there’s nothing stopping you from making a new discovery.

Best Wine Ageing Cabinet

The best places to age wine are spaces that have been designed specifically for the purpose. These include modern wine racks, cellars, and even wine fridges.

Other Ways to Enhance Wine

Although matured wine is known for its unmistakable mystique and subtlety, ageing isn’t necessarily the best method for transforming your wine into the best version of itself. In fact, using aerators are decanters allows you to transform your wine in a quick and affordable manner.

Buy Quality Wine Storage Cabinets from Cranville Wine Racks

Are you in need of an appropriate wine storage solution to mature your wine collection? Look no further than Cranville Wine Racks. With metal and wooden wine rack kits and double-depth wine racks, we can provide you with unique wine storage that looks as good as your wine tastes.

Be sure to browse our product range or get in touch to discuss any bespoke requirements.