Oak Barrels and Their Relationship With Wine [INFOGRAPHIC]
Of course, the classic form of storing and ageing wine is the use of oak barrels, or barriques. These have been used for centuries, and it doesn’t look like much is going to change any time soon. The art of cooperage – or oak barrel production – is a highly prized one in the world of viticulture, and there’s a huge amount of money involved, with individual barrels often costing more than a thousand dollars, depending on where they are from, and what type of oak wood they are made from. The most highly sought after barrels are those made from French Oak, which come from trees planted during the Napoleonic wars. These are said to offer more subtle and spicy flavours, and impart a far silkier texture to the wine. American Oak (white oak), on the other hand, is generally more affordable, and is known for its hints of vanilla and coconut, as well as a distinctively creamy texture.
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