Barrel Maturation, Oak Alternatives and Micro-Oxygenation: Influence on Red Wine Aging and Quality

The impact of micro-oxygenation (MOX) in conjunction with a variety of oak alternatives on phenolic composition and red wine aging was investigated and compared with traditional barrel aging.  Although several studies concluded that MOX give similar results to barrel aging, few have compared them directly and none directly compared MOX with and without wood alternatives and barrel aging.  Results confirmed that MOX had a positive effect on color density, similar to barrel aging, even after 5 months of bottle aging.  This is supported by an increase in polymeric phenol and pigment content not only with aging but in the MOX compared to non-MOX wine treatments.  Descriptive analysis results indicate that the wood treatment dominated differences among treatments.  This study showed that MOX in combination with wood alternatives such as oak chips and staves could mimic short term (six months) barrel aging in new American and French oak barrels.