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Which Vintage Year Should I Buy?

by David on July 13, 2011

We frequently get questions from readers and visitors and will be posting some of these here on the blog from time to time. Here’s one we just received:


…when I go to purchase a bottle of wine — the year on the bottle — should I look for past or present years? I’m confused on this, etc: 2007 or 2008. Can you educate me on this please.


The year on the label indicates when the grapes were harvested and made into wine. This is also known as the vintage year. Most wines made today are intended for consumption upon release with white and rose wines best within 2-3 years after the vintage and red wines best within 3-5 years. A few wines benefit from extended aging of up to 10 years, such as our Howell Mountain Cabernet, but as a rule of thumb you should be looking for vintage years that are within just a few years of today. If a wine does not have a vintage date, it is a blend of 2 or more vintages and is best to be consumed right now.

You can read more about this subject in our wine education article on Aging & Storage.

If you have a wine or food related question send it in and we might post it here on the blog. We also will answer you via email.

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