Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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oak is hard and supple, and most oaks have watertight wood, which has the simple advantage over other wood types used for cooperage of displaying a natural affinity with wine, imparting qualities and flavours that today’s consumers appreciate as enhancing or complementing those of many wines. Oak in general is one of the strongest of the common hardwoods of the temperate northern hemisphere. As well as being particularly good at holding liquids, oak is also physically easy to work; it encourages clarity and stability in red wines and adds new layers of complexity to many white wines.