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August 08, 2011

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I used them also this year. It makes it easy to control the amount of oak (which is pleasant)which you want in your wine. When you find the desireable amount, you simply pull the stick and top off with your reserves. Sure beats oak chips.

Tom, the ease of use is definitely a benefit. Oak chips and even cubes tend to leave a lot of residual powder in the carboy, which then needs to be racked out; the stick comes out clean and ready to put away for next year. Bonus!

I only use oak from virgin forests in France, toasted by hand with candles made from the fat of a very dirty goat.

Is the 3 month recommendation based on the volume of 30 gallons of wine? Does he give any suggestions on how to store the wine stix between applications?

Are his wine stix available at any home winemaking stores and if not why? It seems like home winemakers would opt to use these over chips if they had the choice.

Bryan, the wine stix are to be dried and stored in an airtight container (I wrapped them up in a bag and duct-tapped it) for the following vintage.

Impact time is 2-3 months for all products according to Peter's site; I tend to be a control freak and use my own arbitrary estimation of time in oak to avoid overoaking, so that's why I went for only a month. As you noticed, the wine could have taken more, but it's not my style.

They're available at http://winesticks.spartancart.net/ for order, but it looks like those are mostly the French oak versions; for those living in New York and hoping to use the New York oak I recommend calling Peter to place an order as he can tailor the products to your specific style and amount of wine. At this time I don't believe he's making enough to sell in retail stores but I called him to ask and will report back if that's not the case.

I will definitely be using these over chips from now on. Ease, lack of waste, the local factor, and the taste of the finished wine are all more than satisfactory reasons, and chips just aren't all that sexy.

You know, let's let some people make big fortunes because that provides spice in life and some adventure, something to look forward to-- that you might get this.

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