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Role of Oak Barrels in Wine Making

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The use of barrels for storing and aging of wine is a traditional method followed since several centuries. Especially barrels made of Oak are used for giving special flavors for wine. Aging in Oak barrels gives a typical taste to the wine which is similar to vanilla, butter and spice flavors. It also depends upon the size and shape of the barrels. The wood from the Oak trees is seasoned and prepared and later used for barrel construction.

The common types of oaks used in the construction of barrels are the French Oak and the American Oak. French Oak is considered as the best quality Oak used for making wine barrels from many years. French coopers used to let the wood air dry for at least 24 months to obtain perfect seasoning. They used to split the wood instead of sawing it to make staves. This process produced staves that had more subtle effects on the wine.

The second type of Oak would be the American oak wood, which was not successful in its earlier stages. In this type of barrels, the coopers used klin dry method to season the wood. The staves are sawed rather than splitting. This kind of process which is different from french Oak barrel construction didn’t give proper results. Later French barrel techniques were applied in the construction of American and other country barrels which improved the results. American oak based barrels are low in cost when compared to French barrels.

So, now a days barrels are constructed using both kinds of Oak, which show same results on the wine flavor. It is clear from the above statement that the quality of the wine does not depend on the difference in Oak woods but on the technique of seasoning the wood.

Jun 11, 2011

Tips for Storing Opened Red Wine

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The color of red wine is derived from the skin of the grapes used to produce the wine and from the oak barrels used in aging process of wine. Red wine is a rich source of antioxidants and it shows some positive effects on the health, but consuming wine frequently may lead to severe health problems. It is necessary to store wine at proper temperatures when it is sealed. At the same time opened wine bottles need to be stored with extra care and caution.

Here are a few tips for saving the red wine for few days after opening the bottle:

  • It is better to consume the red wine with in 2 to 4 days to have the same taste after opening the bottle. If the opened red wine is stored properly it can last up to a couple of weeks.
  • It is better to transfer the remaining wine in to a smaller bottles so that less oxidation takes place and hence the taste will not change. After transferring the wine in to the smaller bottles add a stopper at the top of the bottle.
  • If you drink less than half of the bottle of your opened red wine, you can keep the wine in its current bottle or you can also transfer it to a smaller container, because the wine will be in good condition if you fill it as close to the mouth of the bottle.
  • You have to keep the opened wine bottle in a cool place like a refrigerator and this is the best way to store an opened wine bottle for little longer time.
  • Taste of the wine may change because of exposure to oxygen, if the opened wine is kept like that for 4 days.

The above are the tips used for storing red wine.

Jun 10, 2011