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Wine aging in oak containers : quality management(color, aroma and taste)
FROM HISTORY I n the 5th century BC, Herodotus mentioned palm-tree barrels used to transport Armenian wine to Babylon and Mesopotamia. The barrel is most likely invented by the Celts. In 350 BC, they were already using water-tight, barrel-shaped wooden vessels that were able to resist impacts and could be rolled and folded. The Romans began using barrels in the 3rd century AD, as a result of their commercial and military contacts with the Gauls.
FROM HISTORY Here is how the Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic dictionary 1890 -1907 describes and classifies barrels : A barrel is a barrel-made ware used for permanent or temporary storage of various liquid and bulk substances, from which it often gets its private name, for example, alcohol, wine, beer, kerosene barrels, etc., as well as for packaging various goods when transporting them over long distances, especially from abroad. Liquids also began to be carried in barrels, and as often happens, we noticed that with long-term storage, some drinks improve their quality.
In modern winemaking, oak containers are used in a much smaller volume and only for the production of wines of the highest price segment. Many people know the French word " barrique ", which in modern winemaking means an oak barrel with a volume of 225 liters. Maturation and aging of wine in a barrel is an indispensable indicator of the high class of wine produced, but the cost of the process of maturation and aging the wine in the barrel is significant. The use of oak containers is associated with a lot of costs. The main expense item is the short life of the barrel. Barrels that have gone through several filling cycles do not provide oxygen to the wine and significantly reduce the extraction of tannins and aromatics in the wine. O 2 Barrel type Oxygen transfer during exposure New barrel 20-36 ml/l/years 1 year 15-20 ml/l/years 2 years 8-12 ml/l/years
The wine enters the barrel at the aging stage, which occurs immediately after the completion of fermentation and can last from a few weeks to several years. What role does oak play in this process? WHAT HAPPENS TO THE WINE IN THE BARREL?
During aging in a barrel, red wines undergo a number of oxidative reactions, which include the polymerization of phenolic substances and anthocyanins. WHAT HAPPENS TO THE WINE IN THE BARREL?
THE COLOR OF WINE Anthocyanins, which cause the characteristic color of red wines, are unstable. During the aging process, they partially pass into an insoluble state and fall out, forming dense precipitation. Already in the first 3-4 months of aging, up to 50% of anthocyanins precipitate from red wine materials. In the future, due to the condensation of phenolic compounds, brown-red products are formed, and the wine acquires a brown, "bulbous" hue.
A.M. Filippov's research shows that the preservation of anthocyanins depends on the presence of a sufficient number of catechins, enotannin and polymer phenolic compounds in young wine. Therefore, it is best to preserve the color of full highly extractive wines obtained as a result of intensive processing of the pulp. In France, it is customary to place young red wine in the first year of aging in new oak barrels. When cask aging of red wines, phenolic substances are involved in the formation of color, taste formation, and development of the bouquet.
Oak aromatic compounds are an integral part of many wines produced in the world. Depending on the type of oak wood (origin, type, age) and the production process (drying, grinding, roasting), the aromatic profile of the preparation is determined. Aromatics are derived from the wood itself and degrade wood molecules such as lignin, cellulose and hemicellulose during the heat treatment process. THE AROMA OF THE WINE
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A secondary, but much more noticeable effect of the barrel has on the taste of wine. Tannins pass from wood to wine, which can affect the taste of the wine to a greater or lesser extent. In the first year of storage in a new barrel, about 200 mg of tannins passes into the wine. This is approximately equal to a tenth of the tannins contained in the skin of berries. However, the tannins present in the wood have a completely different structure than the tannins from the skin of berries. These tannins do not polymerize, and therefore do not change with the age of the wine. They give the wine typical notes of sweet vanilla, toasted hazelnuts, cloves and caramel. Unfortunately, these notes do not always emphasize the wine's own flavor, but often, on the contrary, drown it out, dominating it. After three, at most five years of using the barrel, the influence of wood on the taste of wine is reduced to zero.