How to Tune into a Wine`s Prime Drinking Time

ALTHOUGH JUST ABOUT every wine in the world is created to be consumed within a year or two of its release, one of the most frequent questions that wine merchants field is “When should I drink this?”

The reply can range from the vague (e.g., “anytime over the next decade”) to the rather specific (e.g., “in 2016”).

There’s a great deal of anxiety among oenophiles about ideal consumption time, especially if it’s a fancy bottle with a sizable price tag. Wine merchants are happy to offer advice—or at least they feel obliged to do so quite often. As Joe Salamone, wine buyer of Crush Wine & Spirits in New York, said, “For people who sell wine, it’s almost compulsory to provide drinking windows.”

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