Make your wine stunning by adding oak to your wine makers arsenal. There are several types of wood from different regions of the world to add to your wine. Each oak type will offer different levels of oak intensity as well as different flavors to your wine. There are also different forms of this wood; chips, cubes, spheres and sticks/staves. But wait there is more, there are also different levels of toast that can also change the flavor contribution from the wood. All of these options give you that flavor you get from the staves of a wine barrel. There are a lot of varieties we have in stock but this guide will help you decide what Oak is for you.
French, Hungarian or American Oak?
- French Oak: French oak tends to lend the most delicate flavors to your wine. It is the least intense of the three popular regions. It is said that French oak gives the wine subtle spicy notes, and sometimes a roasted coffee character, as well as a silkier texture when compared to American or Hungarian oak.
- Hungarian Oak: This option tends to fall somewhere between French and American oak. Flavor descriptions of Hungarian oak include vanilla, roasted coffee, bakers chocolate and black pepper.
- American Oak: Oak grown in American is said to be the most potent of the three discussed here. It is often described as lending notes of vanilla and sometimes coconut. Leans more towards a creamy texture as opposed to a silky texture that you may get from French oak.
Oak Chips,Cubes, Spheres or Sticks?
- Chips: Oak chips are designed for quick oak flavor extraction, however, they tend to be more one-dimensional than cubes, spheres or sticks. They have much more surface area contact with the wine, so oak flavor is extracted quickly. As a starting point, we recommend 1-2 ounces of chips per 5 gallons with about 2 weeks contact time.
- Cubes: Oak cubes are designed for a longer contact time, and more depth of flavor. Typical dosage for cubes is 2-4 ounces per 5 gallons for 30-60 days until desired level of oak flavor is reached.
- Spheres: The “Xoakers French Oak Spheres” are a nice option as they are easy to get in and out of carboys. They are also made of a higher quality oak than most chips and cubes. Dosage for spheres is 1 to 2 spheres per gallon for a minimum contact time of 4 months.
- Sticks: WineStix are designed to simulate the oak flavor extraction you would expect from an actual barrel. There is a mix of short and long grains in these sticks very similar to what you would find in a barrel, but flavor is extracted in a shorter period of time. Each stick is designed to treat 5-6 gallons of wine. Recommended contact time is 2-3 months.