is a wine word that most of you will probably already be familiar with. The
word 'barrique' means barrel, but not just any type of barrel. Do you know
specifically what a barrique is?
word 'barrique' refers to a specific size and shape of oak barrel. In making wine
there are many different sizes of barrels used. Barrique barrels
are relatively small barrels, but not just any small barrels.
Barriques are also known as Bordeaux barrels, because it was in Bordeaux that
their shape and size was designed and developed. Barriques
are relatively tall and have a capacity of 225 liters (59
contrast the typical small Burgundian barrel is slightly larger and
fatter. It holds 228 liters (60 gallons) and is called a pièce. Another relatively small barrel is the Hogshead,
which has a capacity of 300 liters (79 US gallons).
Misuse of the term barrique
the word 'barrique' is so famous and long associated with the great wines of Bordeaux,
the term 'barrique aged' is often incorrectly used to describe any wine that
has been aged in small barrels to distinguish it from wines aged in much larger
Barrique only refers to size
Barrique only refers to the size / capacity of the barrel. It does not
indicate new or used oak; high, medium or low toast; or most importantly the
provenance of the oak such as French or American.
Gorman-McAdams, MW (Master of Wine), is a New York based wine
educator, freelance writer and consultant. In 2012 she was honored
as a Dame Chevalier de L'Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne.