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April 2011
Product Review: Oak Alternatives
The operational pros and cons of using oak alternatives
by Curtis Phillips
When it comes to winemaking, oak alternatives (aka barrel alternatives) can be something of an elephant in the room. Everybody uses them, but few want to admit to using them. I’m sure most winemakers already know this but let me state categorically that, by themselves, oak alternatives are not straight substitutes for aging a wine in barrels. When used in conjunction with micro-oxygenation (MOX), however, winemakers can produce wines that are pretty hard to distinguish from wines that h...
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