Oh, yes, the wonderful wine industry in Portugal, where the deafening silence regarding the use of wood in winemaking is simply captivating! Throughout my glorious years as a sommelier and wine enthusiast, I have been blessed with the incredible lack of information about chips, staves, and other wonders of wood vinification.
Although all labels proudly display the word "barrel," it seems that this magical word is sufficient to convince us that we are facing a product of supreme quality. Oh, what joy it would bring if, while reading technical sheets or researching in "specialized" magazines, we found mentions like "This wine has a beautiful influence of oak chips, which bring an artificially enriching flavor," or perhaps "Prepare yourself to taste the sublimity of the staves in this wine, which bestows a falsely sophisticated personality."
But wait, how could we expect such clarity and transparency in the information? After all, it's much more fun to guess what hidden secret lies within each barrel. Because, of course, we all have the innate ability to distinguish the profile of a wine produced with chips, another with staves, a third with barrel aging, and why not, a fourth with fermentation and barrel aging. Oh, what a feast for the palate!
And let's go further, my dear wine connoisseurs! While we are busy unraveling the secrets of wood, some adventurers are already flirting with cement eggs, granite containers, and ultra-neutral crystal. Yes, crystal that supposedly respects the wine more than anything else. Who needs clear and precise information when we can be surprised by new fashions and trends?
It's time to wake up, demanding consumers! It's time to demand complete and transparent information about wood vinification. It's time to uncover the hidden truth behind the barrels and the obscure techniques that producers insist on keeping secret. Let's reclaim our right to know if we are drinking the authentic taste of wood, the artificial spectacle of chips, or the sophisticated illusion of staves.
Let's be agents of change! Let's demand detailed technical sheets, informative labels, and an industry that values truth and transparency. Let's rebel against the veil of mystery that surrounds wood vinification and show the world that we, as consumers, deserve to know the true essence of the wine we so enjoy.
Text: Miguel Viana Vinhos