Sorting out the aging changes of baijiu, are all the wines we buy at home really worth storage?
When it comes to liquor aging, it is actually an old topic, and I have also covered this aspect in my previous articles and videos.However, this topic is indeed a topic of great concern to consumers, so people often ask me for advice. Today, ON the basis of the original point of view, I will further comb the discussion and talk about the aging change of liquor.Whether the quality of the baijiu we buy will improve or deteriorate over time.Generally speaking, roasted liquor will undergo three stages of change, which are aged stage, stable stage and aging stage.The duration of these three periods varies with different crafts and flavors.Among the commercial wines we have come into contact with at present, especially the wines under the direct control of big factories, the bottling base wines are all old ripe wines.Because not old familiar good wine wine has obvious raw wine and stimulation, most wineries even its low-end wine, you will not be this kind of wine is used as a base, by contrast, they are more willing to use the old good wine and add alcohol or add after processing like alcohol wine, this wine can be tail liquid waste processing and wine in the bottle, including yellow, or reduce the cost by this way,Distinguish the grade of wine.For this kind of wine, because like edible alcohol, so there is no miscellaneous taste and redundant taste, transferred into the original wine will only make the taste of wine light, short, there is an obvious top-heavy feeling.And that’s why we drink a lot of lower-end wines from wineries that have the same style as their higher-end wines, but are light and short.For this kind of low-end wine, the flavor is easy to deteriorate when stored for a long time, even if it is a high alcohol wine, after all, the effective acid ester value of its flavor is too low, and there is a dynamic balance between various acids and esters of liquor, compared with pure grain solid high-grade wine, the balance of this kind of wine is more fragile, so its flavor changes easily when stored for a long time.Based on my tasting experience, low-end wine with edible alcohol is likely to weaken its aroma and flavor after being stored for a long time, and sometimes it will even have an incongruous feeling of wine body.If a low-end wine added organic acid ester, if say this kind of material ethyl caproate (low-end wine aroma adding ethyl caproate is mainly base data index, by adding a complete index, it is easier to obtain optimal level standard), storage time is long, its monomer sweet not harmonious feeling will be more outstanding, make the body more difficult to drink.Therefore, I personally do not recommend consumers to buy low-end liquor, even if it is high strength liquor, compared with high-end liquor, low-end liquor storage quality is more likely to deteriorate.I also don’t recommend long-term storage for low-alcohol wines, and generally I don’t recommend long-term storage for wines under 50°.In fact, in the old wine circle, the price of low degree old wine is obviously cheap and high degree old wine, the reason is that low degree wine is really not durable, mainly because the reduction of alcohol leads to an unstable state of acid ester balance in the wine body.In low-alcohol wine, its storage changes are often manifested in the hydrolysis of esters. I have tasted some low-alcohol old wine, which gives me the impression that the wine has a sour water taste and a dull aroma, which is not as loud as higher-alcohol wine.Of course, there are some low-alcohol wines that retain good flavor after a long period of time. The acidity of the base wine is high and the wine body is not heavy, which reduces the efficiency of ester hydrolysis and maintains the flavor.This is true of the low-alcohol Lao Dong wines I once tasted.Of course, liquor aging is not only these changes, after the aging stage of liquor, its internal acid esters and other organic compounds into a balance, the later reaction is more oxygen oxidation and sol formation.Oxygen oxidation requires air inside the bottle, and less tightly sealed wines have a limited exchange of outside air at the bottle’s mouth.Oxygen in the air melts into the wine body to form dissolved oxygen, which oxidizes the unsaturated matter in the wine body.Some of the long chain macromolecular esters are oxidized, and then hydrolyzed into the corresponding macromolecular acids, these sour substances will have some old taste (a special old taste, but the circle is more used to say it is old taste, because in addition to the aging taste, there are quchen taste).This taste can be found more or less in old wines, both in bottles and in jars.Generally, wines with a high acidity and strong flavor can tolerate this, but those with sweet fruit, fruit and pleasure can’t.For example, in the 1980s, Lao Wuliangye and Jiannanchun had obvious dull and aged jujube flavor in their wine body, which conflicted with the gorgeous flower and fruit fragrance and comfortable ester aroma, causing the wine body to decline instead, which was the signal that the wine body had entered the aging stage.The aging time of wines of different craft schools and flavors is different. Even if the wines of the same craft are bottled differently, their changes will also be different.Generally speaking, much grain qu aroma style wine storage for 20 years will enter the aging period, into the aging period of wine is not bad to drink, but the state is slowly sliding, for this kind of wine is more suitable for flavoring wine.In contrast, other craft wines, especially maotai-fragrant, ji-fragrant and dong-fragrant craft wines, I have not seen any aging wines at present. At least, there is no problem with this kind of wine being aged for 40 years.The fragrance of Daqu and Fengxiang, like the aroma of many grains, are also easy to enter the aging period. Fengxiang’s time is almost 20 years, and the fragrance of Daqu will be longer. In the liquor of the eldest song with fragrance that I have tasted for more than 20 years, the wine body often carries a little old taste, but this old taste does not pressure other flavors and appears dull.The formation of sol is mainly the change in the wine body, the core of the change is all kinds of organic matter in the wine body, through hydrogen bond association synthesis of a large molecular group, this process is formed very slowly, but it can be catalyzed by metal ions, and this is pottery pottery aged wine easy to form sol.Because of the mineral substance in pottery pot in the form of ions into the wine body, its catalytic sol formation of the wine body.Combined with my tasting experience, under normal circumstances, the efficiency of sol formation of wine stored in jars is 10 times that of bottle wine.However, the terracotta wine we buy on the market is different from that of the winery. The main reason is that the terracotta wine we buy on the market is glazed on the inside and outside, which also isolates the metal ions from mixing into the wine body.For those who are interested, buy unglazed clay containers, fill them with highly distilled liquor, label them, and after two years, you’ll see how it changes.For sol wine body, drink will appear very soft, some 60° wine drink like forty-seven eight degrees, wine body is very tight, condensed, the tail taste is short, but not a top-heavy state.This state is actually the state of old wine did not wake up, for the liquor body sol, oxygen began to decompose, under normal circumstances, the wine into the wine separator, wake up for half an hour, this state of basic dissipation.And this is precisely the reason why we buy the high-end wine of the winery, we can’t drink the sol, because this kind of wine has encountered oxygen when it is designed and filled, and the winery will add oxygen when it is designed to stir and destroy this state.So why does the winery want to destroy the sol of the base wine?In the 80 s, some wineries for this kind of problem without handle, directly to the altar wine poured into the glass bottles, led to the bottling wine appeared after the floccule precipitation, although bottled wine floccule precipitation many reasons (for example the bottle didn’t wash clean, the weather changes caused by precipitation, etc.), but it is also one of the factors,Therefore, later large wineries in the design of the wine body will add oxygen mixing, destroy the sol of the wine body.Generally speaking, the aging of the wine body is relatively slow when it enters the stable stage and aging stage.It is not, as some marketers claim, a qualitative leap in baijiu storage quality.Generally speaking, the main change in the quality of the wine is not old and ripe good new wine, this kind of wine is more suitable in pottery altar.Most of the commercial wines we have access to are already well aged.Therefore, consumers are not advised to improve the quality of wine for the purpose of tuen mun wine.Of course, the changes of wine storage are not only related to the environment, the state of the bottle and other factors.I have compared two ’93 Quanxing Daqu wines stored in humid conditions in the south and dry conditions in the north. There is a slight difference in quality between the two wines, but this difference can only be found in a careful comparison, which is difficult to feel in the ordinary drinking process.The condition of the bottle has more influence on the quality of the stored wine than the external environment.In addition to the huge difference in the quality of the wine aged between the running bottle and the non-running bottle, the material of the bottle cap also has a great influence on the body of the wine.If the cork is not isolated well, the wood taste is easy to string into the wine body, for example, the late 1990s old alcoholic wine and the blue and white musket, the wine body has a light wood aroma;There are also some plastic capped old wine, after its plastic aging, the wine body dissolved into part of the plastic material, making the wine body has the taste of aging plastic.This smell is similar to the smell of the lid, unlike the smell of plastic aged qu in maotai-fragrant wine (plastic aged qu smell is a bit like burning plastic, not like aging plastic smell), which is more common in old luzhou-fragrant wine;There are also some old wine with iron cover, which may be due to the material of the cover. Over a long time, the metal rusts and pollutes the wine body, making the wine body smell of rust…So for an old wine, it’s not just that it’s old, it’s bottled then and it’s good now.For some old wine with packaging problems, it is often not good to drink now. Therefore, when we choose to store liquor, we should also look at the packaging of this wine, whether its sealing is good, what material is used to seal it, and whether it is suitable for long-term storage.However, compared to the past, now the packaging is much better than before, this aspect of the problem is also much less.From the perspective of tun wine, the packaging of brand wine enterprises is basically OK.In general, liquor aging follows the rule of first old ripe, then stable and after aging, in the market wine that we can access, most of them have been old ripe, so I do not recommend consumers to get better wine quality for the purpose of tun wine.As a matter of fact, the quality of our high-end wine will improve a little after ten or eight years of storage, but there will be no significant change.Some wine lovers have tasted some brands and found that the quality of the old batch is better, which has more to do with the distillery’s new wine to reduce the quality.At present, the development of some brand wine enterprises is too fast and the quality of raw wine is insufficient, which makes the quality of some products lower.It is because of this, some wine merchants say that the more the wine is stored, the better the quality, in fact, such a good reflection is that the winery has no moral integrity.Finally, as for my understanding of liquor aging changes, what do you think as a wine friend and the industry?You are welcome to leave a comment in the comments section, we will discuss together.