Ask Sid: Where on the wine label does it show whether or not oak has been used?

January 25th, 2017
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Ask Sid: Where on the wine label does it show whether or not oak has been used?

Question: Where on the wine label does it tell you whether or not oak has been used?

Answer: Good idea. Wish it was that simple. Usually it doesn’t tell you. There may be a specific word like unoaked or unwooded used – especially for chardonnay. There may be some helpful information on the back label including descriptors like crisp, fresh or vibrant that probably indicate no oak was used. Even those terms can be confusing though because say wines like Chablis Premier or Grand Cru are in that style but still may see some old oak barrels. It can be a difficult issue somewhat like the sugar one in a wine – though many producers now are providing more information about residual sugar on their back label. It really depends on the overall balance of the wine whether the oak or sugar seems prominent to you. Remember that new oak diminishes with bottle age. Best way is to smell and taste the wine for oak but you raise another good reason why I support ingredient labeling.


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January 25th, 2017

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