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Unread 04-09-2013, 01:56 AM   #13
jfletcherMD
Got Wood.
 
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Wine barrels can, in fact, be re-used - but the wood "becomes neutral" with regard to imparting desirable effects on the wine itself after 3-5 vintages, depending on the type of wine and the characteristics of the wood.

For those interested, check out the wikipedia page on Oak and its importance in winemaking
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oak_(wine)

As for cooking with wine barrel chunks/staves, I've found them at a number of places, from online wood distributors to the local World Market. I've used it to smoke beef, venison, and even a spiced pork tenderloin, and I've added it to the grill to add a nice smoke flavor to grilled salmon and NY strip steaks. The wine soaked in to the wood mparts a little bit of a fruity/"winey" flavor, but the predominant flavor is still that of white oak.

Happy cooking!
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