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Wine Talk: Aging Of Wines – How Is It Done?

Oak Barrels For Aging Wine

We like to drink wine. Some more some less. We have our preferred types of wine and some even have their preferred bottle. But we rarely think about what it takes to make wine and then to expertly age wine.

Oak Barrels For Aging

Many high-quality red wines are ages in oak barrels. They stay in an oak barrel for up to 24 months and absorb some of the aroma from the barrel. However, if the wine is left too long in an oak barrel then the taste of oak will overshadow the fruit aroma.

Oak Barrels For Aging Wine

Oak Barrels For Aging Wine (Source: Jerusalem Post/Carmel Winery)

Don’t run out and start pouring your bottles of wine into an oak barrel as you have to be an expert in aging wine in oak. In new wine, when it gets properly aged, the oak will give the wine a sweet taste. Most people describe it as a vanilla flavor.

The Jerusalem Post has an interesting article written by Adam Montefiore who works for the Carmel Winery in Israel.

The oak barrel is a flavoring agent that enhances a wine. Flavors leached into wine from a barrel may add an extra note to wine, which, after all, is made 100 percent from grapes and nothing else. However, if a chef uses too much of a particular spice in a dish, the balance of the dish may be ruined. Likewise, if a wine is barrel-aged for too long, the oak flavors may mask the fruit. The secret is to find the right balance.

Oak is not sweet, but oak aging does add a noticeable sweet character to a wine. Most will characterize this as vanilla, which is the basic first impression.

Other aromas that come to the fore with the practiced nose are toast, coffee, mocha, cedar, cigar box and tobacco. These secondary flavors provide a certain complexity when supporting the fruity aromas of a wine.

Take a moment to look at the article as it’s quite interesting to find out what’s behind a good wine!

If you don’t have space for a large basement wine cellar to store your wines or just occasionally like your glass of wine with dinner, then check out our wine cooler reviews to find the best wine refrigerator for your home.