Note that the oak sold for winemaking is toasted to a specific degree. It is the combination of the type of oak and the toasting that contributes positively to the taste of the wine. I doubt the oak supplied for BBQ purposes is toasted at all and probably does not indicate the variety and/or source of the oak. Considering the amount of oak inputs I use, I'm okay with spending a few dollars to get the impact I am striving for in the wine. As far as cubes vs. spirals . . . I use both simultaneously. I break the spirals into thirds and use them in combination with 1-2 oz. of cubes. That way I can increase the oak incrementally over time and blend in different varieties (Amer vs French) and different toast levels. All that being said, I currently have about 5 LBs of split cherry wood hanging in a mesh bag outdoors to dry so that I can toast it myself and have the opportunity to add some local flavor to upcoming batches. The wood has been air drying for almost a year now and should be ready to toast this fall. It's always fun to experiment.