The process of intentionally holding a wine for a period of time so that the components in it can integrate and the wine can grow softer and possibly more COMPLEX. Wines are generally aged first in a barrel and later in bottles, since wines evolve differently in each vessel. The length of time any wine is aged is initially up to the producer, though many of the top European wines by law must be aged a certain minimum number of months or years. Most wines worldwide are aged only briefly before release.


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