How can you tell if a wine is too young?
Drum roll please … Check its birth certificate? I’m sort of not kidding. Just look at the label dude and check the vintage year (which is the date the grapes were harvested). When a wine was born gives you your first clue if, and that’s a big if, you can appreciate its pleasures.
A run-of-the-mill table wine is built to enjoy right out of the bottle with most consumed within 48 hours of purchase, so if you’re spending under $25 just get your drink on. If we’re talking a wine with some pedigree, then how old it is will speak volumes as to its eventual consumability.
You always pay more for complexity and longevity, so use that as your guide. Wines with big bones, and big prices, need time to mature, so if you have a bottle from a recent year burning a hole in your cellar you should think about decanting it. Decanting will introduce oxidizing air to every drop of the wine, artificially aging the juice and taming its youthful exuberance.
If you’ve found your lips close to a glass of something obviously unbalanced, muted in flavour and overpowered by tannin (when it comes to reds), you have a wine way too young to drink.