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January 2002
Recent Research on Barrels and Alternatives
Oak or Steel?
by Curtis Phillips
 Judging by some of the wines produced during the last couple decades, oak is catnip for humans. It seems that a lot of wines use oak merely as a flavoring agent. Every time I think that there is no way anyone can extract more oak tannin into wine, someone pulls a cork on a bottle that better matches my dining room table than the food on it. Personally, I'm more interested in other aspects of oak's role in winemaking than its flavor. In my former role as an industrial-scale corporate winema...
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