Aging Wine: Most people assume that the longer that they keep a wine, the better it will get. So probably the most commonly asked question you hear is: How long do I keep the wine before drinking?
It is a misconception that you MUST age wine. The fact is, throughout the world, most wine is drunk young (that is relatively soon after it is produced, perhaps 12 to 18 months), even wines that are better if aged. While some wines will mature and become better over time, others will not and should be drunk immediately, or within a few years. Eventually ALL wine will 'go over the hill,' so even the wines meant to be kept for many, many years should be drunk before it's too late.
Wines which are expected to be matured in the bottle before drinking, can go over the hill faster if not properly stored. If someone is giving you a very good deal on an old red wine that you would otherwise expect to be great, start to wonder how it was kept! Usually, a famous name on the label is no guarantee whether a wine will age well if it is stored improperly.