I have wondered this same thing, but about toasting the pruned vines from our vineyard. We have used them on the BBQ as wood chips and they make great smoke. Why not toast them and use them as staves? So I did a little research. I'd love to serve some of our own wine, enhanced and aged with our own vines. I'll practice on fruit wines first. Good luck with your project!
This is what Jack Daniels does. Interesting article: How to Toast oak wood. I haven't been around long enough to post a link (they fear spam here), so I suggest you google that term. You will love that article! It's on Ehow.
As far as why everyone uses oak I only have an opinion. Oak is a very hard wood, and I imagine very plentiful in France, and it was probably used to age the wine for centuries. Oak trees are big, so easy to cut into wood to make barrels. It does add very nice flavor to the wine, so "if it's not broke, why fix it?" And people just carry on that oak tradition. That's what I think! BUT, I'm willing to think outside that oak box and try my pruned vines. Maybe toast Grenache prunings, and see how that affects the flavor of apple wine. Hmmmmmmmm
I have heard in Northern California Redwood is used to make barrels, and with good results. We soak cedar planks from Home Depot in water and that imparts great flavor to salmon steaks on the BBQ. Wondering what toasted cedar would do for wine?
I'm very new at making wine. Started last spring. Began with apple juice wine, went to one of those places where you pick your own cherries (turned out awsome. kicked it up with lavendar), tried the blackberry jam wine, did the wine from concentrate thing, and planted a vineyard. I need equipment! Cramming a cork into a bottle with a sledge hammer is tough! Much to learn!
I love to cook, and make things that can't be purchased in a restaurant or store. If you want it, you have to come here to try it. Winemaking falls into that same thought. Kick it up, tweak the recipe! I have something called Thanksgiving wine that is aging. It's base is red grape concentrate, and it has spices, orange, lemon, and raisins in it. It's not time to prune the vines yet, but I have 2 dead vines that didn't make it in the vineyard. One is Touriga National, and one Grenache. Today I'll dig those up, wash em off, let them dry, and toast them. Then they will go into the Thanksgiving wine for next Nov. I'll let you know if there is a difference in the toasted aroma between those two vines.
I look forward to being a part of this community! Thanks for making me welcome!
glad to have you in the gang Suzi, glad I didn't refer to you as dude!!!!!LOL
I like the lavander touch! Couple people in here are working on the "jam" thing, why don't you tell us a lil more how you did it.
I was wondering how mint would be, not only as an accent, but to make a full flavoured wine with it.
As I said before, even myself, part of the whole wine making thing was I love to cook, and making my own wine just came along. I am no expert, nor, will I ever be. But it is alot of fun, especially, like you, where you have year round access to "fermentables"