Why is oak used in winemaking?

[Music] Hello I'm Amelia singer an international Wine Communicator educator and Television presenter now one of the most Important things that people want to Know about a wine is why is Oak so Famously used in winemaking and what Does it actually do to the wine That has always been a strong Relationship between Oak and wine since Roman times the wood of the oak tree has Been prized for its ability to make Strong water type barrels perfect for The making storing and transportation of Wine nowadays with other materials at Their disposal the use of Oak is a Winemaker's choice rather than a Necessity it's used to give distinctive Aromas and flavors to a wine Story of how a barrel is made begins in The forests of Europe and North America Where most of the oak used for Winemaking comes from the wood is cut Into long pieces called staves and then It's allowed to dry and Harden The making of the barrel is a difficult And specialized job performed by a Cooper Cooper's challenge is to bend the hard Street staves into rounded Barrel shape Plenty of heat is needed to make the Staves pliable the heating of the staves Toast the inside of the barrel which Creates all sorts of interesting flavors

When the barrels are filled the wine Will gradually take on these flavors Now the length of a time that a wine Spends in Barrel can vary from a few Months to a few years Generally speaking the more time a wine Spends in Barrel the more Oak flavor It'll take on Newly coopered oat barrels are Incredibly expensive often costing Upwards of 1 000 Euros but many wine Makers feel that it's worth the cost as The flavors that Oak gives to a wine Really are incredible the most common Ones you'll find are baking spices such As vanilla cinnamon and clove you may Even get a terrific Smokey Aroma that Comes from the heating and charring of The barrel during Cooperage There are many wine regions that Traditionally use plenty of Oak in their Wine making but on the flip side there Are also regions where the use of Oak is Quite rare However if you are someone who enjoys Spicy Reds look out for wise from ryoka In Spain where the use of Oak is very Traditional part of the winemaking Culture If you see the words koreantha Reserva Or Grano Reserva on the label you can Expect quite strong Oaky flavors If okay white style thing then seek out White wines of the burgundy region in

France the largest such as puifise and Mosso produce fantastic Oaky whites that Are perfect for an indulgent treat Spend a little time reading the label if You're unsure whether a wine will be Oaky the winemaker may have given you a Clue with words like barrel-aged or Reserver or they may have offered a Description on the back label to Highlight the Oaky character of the wine Using words such as spicy or toasty Oak characters can be a great addition To a wine But they aren't suited to everyone's Palette it's important to note that Oak Doesn't inherently make a wine better Just makes it different So if you prefer your wines without Oaky Flavors there are plenty of outstanding Wines available for you to enjoy that Have never seen the inside of a barrel Hope you enjoyed this three minute wine School visit wsetgglobal.com to find out More about taking a WSET course