Older vines, better wines?

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It’s one of the oldest wine aphorisms that’s generally assumed to be true – but is it necessarily so? Natasha Hughes MW investigates whether age really does come before beauty in the vineyard, and recommends eight old-vine wines that you can test the theory with

Image: Old vines from Barossa, credit: Glaetzer Evenezer
Image: Old vines from Barossa, credit: Glaetzer Evenezer

In our youth-obsessed Western culture, old age has long been perceived as a time of preordained senescence, one in which physical charms fade and the intellect weakens with a dire inevitability. To be old is to be insulted.

Shakespeare has Prospero (no spring chicken himself) describe the rebellious Caliban in terms that would still be a low blow to those of a certain age: ‘And as with age his body uglier grows, so his mind cankers’.

Translated by ICY

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