Age wine in 48 hours? You’ve got to be Oaking!

Well, the pun was rubbish, maybe the product is better.

We were surprised to come across an implausible-sounding wine gadget called Oak Bottle. Supposedly in a mere 24-48 hours you can accomplish what takes months or even years with established wine ageing practices.

How can this miracle be accomplished? Oak bottle is, as you might have guessed, a bottle made of oak. The theory goes that instead of leaving your wine in a standard 225 litre oak bottle for a while to age it, simply emptying a cheaper bottle of wine into an Oak Bottle will have the same effect, but in less time. The manufacturers claim that as there is less liquid and more oak, hence a greater surface area for the wine to be in contact with, that the oak maturing process happens more quickly.

Ageing wine in oak barrels has been common practice for wine makers for centuries. Recently we posted about the world’s oldest wine being rehoused for only the third time, and it was well over 500 years old. Oak barrels add flavours of vanilla, spice and impact tannins.They allow wine to interact with oxygen very slowly, often resulting in 10% of the wine in a barrel evaporating over the course of a year.

The top fifty most expensive wines in the world are oak aged. So the prospect of being able to age a cheaper wine and make it taste like a more expensive wine will surely appeal.

It has long been known that smaller barrels affect wine more quickly due to the greater surface area to volume ratio. So perhaps the notion that a 750ml Oak Bottle might be able to age wine in a few days is not so silly after all.

We remain skeptical however. If you fancy experimenting, they are available here. You even have a choice of flavours.

Image is “Wine Barrels” by Sanjay AcharyaOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

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