The Joy of Cellaring Wine

Often reserved for special occasions like the holidays, aged wines offer a unique window into the past.


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Wine is a living entity, evolving as it ages. Unfortunately, many wine drinkers miss the best years of their wines’ lives because they drink them too soon.

Perhaps it’s the fast-pace of American culture, or perhaps it’s our taste for fresh, friendly, easy-drinking wines that drives us to young bottlings. But the fact remains, many of the best wines in the world deserve time in the cellar. Contrary to popular belief, not all of those wines are unattainably priced.

The stereotype of the “proper” wine cellar, stocked with exorbitantly priced Bordeaux, Brunello and cult Napa Valley Cabernet has given way to a more practical reality that reflects the diverse selection and price points of today’s ageable wines. Modern collectors may still check off the great premium wines of the world in their collections, but now can proudly list emerging, more accessible wines as well, assured they will show beautifully after 10, 20 or even more years in the cellar. Washington Cabernets, Portuguese red blends, Austrian Rieslings…all represent the new face of the wine cellar in America.

This month, our celebrated list of the year’s Top 100 Cellar Selections reveals just those types of discoveries, alongside the storied collectible wines of the world. The list is deep and diverse, covering all corners of the globe through the palates of the Wine Enthusiast tasting panel. Perhaps no curation of wines is better for the holiday season, as wine lovers and their friends exchange gifts. Any of these wines will delight.

The community spirit of wine is showcased in entertaining and lifestyle editors Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen’s piece on inventive holiday dinner parties. Each approach places delicious wines and menus in settings that will creatively shake up the traditions of years past.

Ever wonder how some of the country’s top chefs celebrate the season when they’re out of the toque and kicking back at home? Enjoy the inside glimpse of Philadelphia chef Marc Vetri’s Italian holiday feast with his family. Vetri’s focus on collaborative cooking and easy-to-make dishes prove that you needn’t be a professional to celebrate the holidays in culinary style.

Spirits Editor Kara Newman explores another seasonal favorite—Cognac. Whether to serve it straight or mix it into one of several delectable cocktails depends on one’s taste and the style of the Cognac.

Whatever your plans for this busy season, our editors hope wine plays an integral part in your holiday festivities. We’re happy to share those celebrations with you.

Cheers,

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