How Well Do You Know Oak?
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There are hundreds of species of oak worldwide belonging to the botanical genus Quercus. They fall into two categories: white oak and red oak. In winemaking, we use white oak from one (1) American species and two (2) French species. Which one below is the American species?
There are three regions in France with the largest market for barrels and thus the most places of production of barrels. What are they?
Bordeaux, Rhone Valley, Burgundy
Bordeaux, Burgundy, Cognac
Bordeaux, Rhone Valley, Cognac
Burgundy, Rhone Valley, Cognac
What is the name of the person who makes barrels?
Question 3 Explanation:
Barrel making is a craft learned through apprenticeship and years of study before advancing to master cooper.
True or False. French oak barrels tend to impart more pronounced aromas and flavors than American oak barrels.
Question 4 Explanation:
The compounds in oak that are responsible for imparting the aromas of "oakiness" are greater in American Oak vs. French Oak. At higher concentrations, you will get coconut-like aromas and flavors.
True or False. The French cooperage business is larger than the American.
Question 5 Explanation:
A majority of barrels traded today are from America, specifically the midwest and used for ageing bourbon whiskey.
Typically, what is the minimum age of oak trees used to make barrels?
What is the stopper for the hole in the barrel called?
How many bottles of wine are in one standard Bordeaux sized barrel?
Question 8 Explanation:
The Bordeaux barrel at 225 liters is the most widely used. The standard barrel size in Burgundy is 228 liters and shorter/fatter vs. Bordeaux barrels to account for the small storage space in the region. In the US, a variation and combination of Bordeaux and Burgundy barrel elements are common.
What wine region outside of the United States is known for aging its tempranillo in American oak?
Question 9 Explanation:
Spain has a long-standing tradition of ageing red wines in oak. Spanish winemakers use American oak, which is less expensive and imparts stronger flavors to the wine.
French oak is often regarded as the standard today, but in the 19th century which region was most admired as a source for oak?
Question 10 Explanation:
The forests of Eastern Europe were very important sources of Quercus robur and Quercus petraea and highly prized. Up until the 20th century, almost everything was stored or shipped in wooden barrels. Why? Because barrels are sturdy, easy to maneuver, and can hold a variety of products (both dry and liquid).
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