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November 2003
The Flavors of American Oak
by Dr. Tom Cottrell
The use of American oak for wine barrels has historically been misunderstood, so American oak had a spotty reputation. The common remark is: "I tried it once, but I didn't like it." The next most common remark is, "I put the same wine in a French barrel and an American barrel and three months later the American oak was too strong." How can so many wineries be so successful with American oak barrels when misconceptions like these are rampant? Jancis Robinson, in her 1999 Oxford Companion to Wine ...
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