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 slogan "the older the better" is wrong, because this only applies to wines with ageing potential and can only be expected for top quality wines. The beginning is the time of marketing, which in the case of simple red wine and white wine intended for quick enjoyment also means that the wine is ready to drink. For top wines, the bottle ripening is a long-term process with 5, 10, 15 years and more. At some point, the peak is reached, although this is not to be understood as "key date related", but means a longer phase. At some point it begins to "decompose" and is finally inedible or "dead" at the end of life.