PAWLING, N.Y. -- There's a long history of finishing liquor in wine barrels. Now, wineries are beginning to turn the trend on end by aging wine in various spirit barrels.
Most often, barrels used by wineries are either brand new or have been used in previous years for wine-aging. However, some experimental wineries are trying a process that is catching the eyes of wine lovers everywhere. "Aging wine in whiskey barrels is a new process that some wineries are utilizing," said Louie Ingles, manager of Wineology of Pawling. "There's a unique taste that is given off from these kinds of wines. It's a process that takes time and courage to do because it hasn't really been done before."
There aren't many whiskey-barrel aged wines on the market today, but those fortunate enough to try these interesting selections can experience an array of flavors that vary by the barrel. "Some wines are used in whiskey barrels and offer a variety of flavors that drastically changes depending the on the type of wood the barrel is made from."
Below are a few of Ingles' picks for whiskey-finished wine.
1000 Stories Bourbon Barrel Aged Zinfandel. This Zinfandel, from Mendocino and Sonoma, is aged for an unspecified length of time in new and used Bourbon barrels. Very little whiskey influence is actually recognizable, as the fruity Zin overshadows much of the barrel influence.
Jacob's Creek Double Barrel Cabernet Sauvignon. This red wine is aged for 12 to 18 months in French and American oak barrels, then transferred to Irish whiskey barrels. The wine is less fruit-dominant than most Cabernet Sauvignon's, with tobacco-like notes and spice complementing the fruit.
Cooper & Thief Bourbon Barrel Aged Red Wine Blend. This blend of Merlot, Syrah, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon and other varieties spent three months in former Bourbon barrels. The bourbon-influence offers a result that includes an earthy and cherry flavor.
For more information about Wineology or to find the perfect whiskey-finished wine, visit the experts in Pawling or call at (845) 855-8463.