Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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vanillin, a phenolic aldehyde that is a component of the lignin structure of oak wood; responsible for the vanilla note in wines. It is especially extracted from barrel wood. If new oak casks are used for wine maturation, this vanillin adds complexity to the flavour (see oak flavour). Vanillin levels tend to be higher in American than in French oak.