From many years the traditional wine barrels are made out of Oak wood. Even though different types of trees like cherry, wall nut, chest nut, pine and red wood are used in the construction of barrels they didn’t enhance the flavors of wine as much as the Oak wood do. Only the Oak seemed to have a perfect blend with grapes. Depending upon the size and shapes, these wooden barrels are of different types. Let us see the varieties in wood barrels used in wine preparation.
- French Oak Barrels: The barrels made up of french oak wood are termed as good quality barrels which produce best quality wine. Oak wood enhances the flavor of wine by releasing some typical flavors like vanilla, butter and spice in to the wine. Even in the construction of French barrels the wood is splited instead of sawing to make staves out of it. This wood is again dried for 24 hours to get perfect seasoning. These barrels are used to make Bordeaux barrels, which hold 59.43 gallons and Burgundy barrels which hold 60.2 gallons of wine
- American Oak Barrels: Even though the oak is same it differs from the region it comes from. Previously coopers used klin dry method in seasoning the wood and found less tasty wine. Then they though that since the wood is different, so is the taste. But later, they used the same technique which they applied for French barrels and found the same results. American oak barrels are made in both sizes and can hold all types of wine.
- Hogshead Barrels: While French and American barrels are considered as small barrels, these Hogshead Barrels are termed as larger barrels. A typical Hogshead barrel hold 79.25 gallons of wine.
- Puncheon Barrels: This Puncheon barrels come over twice the size of French barrels and has the capacity to hold 132.08 gallons of wine. In case of wine flavor, the smaller the size of the barrel the higher will be the oaky flavor. So makers of wine who want less oaky flavor will go for Hogshead and puncheon.
These are different kinds of wine barrels which are used in the preparation of wine. The taste and flavor of the wine changes according to the type of barrel used.