General term for the period of time, usually expressed in years, during which a wine is a pleasure to drink or can be enjoyed without too much impairment of taste. The often used generalising catchphrase "the older the better" is wrong, because this only applies to wines with ageing potential and is only to be expected for top qualities. The beginning is the time of marketing, which in the case of simple red wine and white wine intended for quick consumption also means drinking maturity. In the case of top wines, there is a long-term process of 5, 10, 15 years or more of bottle ageing. At some point, the peak is reached, whereby this is by no means to be understood as "on a specific date", but rather as a longer phase. At some point it begins to "degrade, and at the end of its life it is finally undrinkable or "dead".