During aging certain things are done to wine in order to promote its flavor. There is a need to affect the flavor of the wine in a way that will be pleasing to most. Expert wine makers have been doing all this for a very long time and you can do this too. One means that professionals and experts make use of is oak barrels and not just any oak barrels. It is what they do to the barrel which makes the difference. The interior of the barrel is usually toasted but lightly so. Despite this fact, this simple act goes a long way in adding to the flavor of the aging wine, giving it a taste that most people refer to as velvety.
Red wines are usually the ones reserved for this process. Regardless of this fact, not everyone has the ability to make use of oak barrels to age their wine. At least the average person doesn’t have the ability to make use of oak barrels. The point is that they do not make so much wine that they need a barrel to store it and with the limited availability of urban space, we’re least likely to use barrels. Despite all these things, other ways exist through which we can get the necessary flavoring in wine such as you would get with a toasted oak barrel. This is usually done by using oak chips in order to give your wine some flavor. They are called toasted oak chips because thy have been toasted somewhat like the oak barrels and they render the same flavor that the aging of wine in barrels does. These oak chips have also been dried for a huge number of years in order to ensure that no moisture remains in the chips. Two main types of oak chips exist and these are the French and the American versions.
Before using oak chips, you need to boil them for a ten minute period first. They shouldn’t be placed in wine until the wine is ready for aging. As soon as the wine has been placed in bottles and is ready to be racked, some oak chips should be added. Three ounces of oak chips should be placed per five gallons of wine. The wine should be aged for three to nine months depending on the flavor that is sought. Oak chips tend to add to the flavor and they lend it a much heartier taste. Winemakers also tend to recommend that a bottle should be sampled each month to determine how well the process is going.
If toasted American oak chips are being bought, you should expect to pay as much as sixty dollars for ten pounds worth. French chips cost somewhere above fifty dollars and they all come with instructions on how they can be properly used. Care should be taken with the use of oak chips because while some affect your wine positively others give your wine a rather bitter taste due to the presence of tannic acid.