Send questions to: email@example.com Why do we only call whiskeys ”drams”? As with many words used to describe drinks and things connected to them, they often come from the region that originally made a drink famous. While whiskey is made all over the world, the most famous place in the world of whisky — note […]
For years, oak was the stamp of quality winemaking. Oaked reds were more likely to get top scores by wine critics in the 1980s; and by the 1990s, winemakers sought out ways to impart oak flavors using oak chips and shavings. But over the past decade, taste trends have shifted. That’s not to say that oak […]
Ten years ago, if you traveled to any wine region and visited its cellars, you’d likely find a barrel hall stacked high with small oak barrels. Not anymore. Now you’ll find these small oak barrels, called barriques, alongside a variety of others. Even the most traditional cellars might also have a concrete egg or two, […]
While natural and minimalist winemaking may get a lot of buzz, another trend is taking over American wine shops, liquor stores, and grocery shelves. Bourbon barrel-aged wine has boomed since its introduction in 2014. Recently, California-based wineries such as Robert Mondavi, Fetzer Vineyards, and Apothic Wines have joined the trend. For decades, distillers have aged […]
Barrels aren’t just for whiskey and wine anymore. There are nearly 7,000 barrel-aged beers listed on BeerAdvocate —a major influx since the early 2000s when a few craft labels like Firestone Walker and New Belgium introduced their barrel-aged options. Today, breweries are experimenting with old bourbon, wine, tequila, rum, and Scotch barrels, imparting unusual flavor […]
Oak is the cilantro of winemaking: it’s divisive. Delicious and paramount to wine’s longevity for some; overused and a mask of terroir for others. Few winemaking topics create as much dissent as “proper” oak use. Opinions aside, not all oak is created equal, and a new type of barrel is emerging in wine, and it’s […]
There are no absolutes when it comes to wine, and the magic of turning fruit into alcoholic bliss only serves to surround this science-based business with mythological status. In fact, untruths about wine are as common as gossip about Kim K’s booty and Gisele Bunchen’s workout routine. We’ve all heard that the “rules” of wine […]
Unless you’re a wine aficionado, you probably haven’t explored deep into the world of oak. Chances are you know that oak can impart tannins, or vanilla, or char (depending on what you’re drinking). And chances are you’ve been forced to swallow down some buttery, flabby, aggressively over-oaked cheap Chardonnay.
Oak in wine is like salt for cooking: in some cases it’s an essential seasoning that adds to the depth and flavor of the wine, but in other cases, oak, like salt, can be overdone, drowning the flavors of the wine with flavors and aromas of vanilla and wood.