Storing wine barrel outside to accelerate aging is typical of Madeira

Artificial aging is a winemaking process that has been used with varied degrees of enthusiasm depending on market demands.

Current fashion dictates that wine should be as ‘natural’ as possible (which means as little human intervention as possible). There is also a growing trend that encourage the consumption of young wines (rather than mature wines). Therefore, artificially aged wines sales are starting to decline. Furthermore, it is to be noted that cheap wines and table wines are usually not made through artificial aging techniques because of the additional costs they require.

There are many artificial aging techniques that can be used during the winemaking process:

  • Micro-Oxygenation: for example to reduce the power of tannins in Madiran wines (South of France)
  • Outside storage: for example for making ‘Rancio’ wines in Roussillon by exposing wines outside in Demi-Johns (click here to read more about ‘Rancio’ wines)
  • Exposition to extreme temperatures: for example by using the ‘Estufagem’ in Madeira
  • Shaking the wine: which will encourage the effect of dissolved oxygen. This is what some Sommeliers do in some restaurants
  • Exposing wine to radiation
  • Exposing wine to ultra-sonic waves
  • Exposing wine to magnetic waves

Madeira and ‘Rancio’ wines, because of their inherent styles, are made with the intent of being exposed to high temperatures.

It is then to be note that if a wine customer stores his wine in a hot apartment (with no cellar or cooling system), it will start to age very quickly and get improper to drink.

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