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Ruby Hill Winery
April 14, 2023 | Ruby Hill Winery

What to Know When Barrel Tasting

Barrel tastings come in all shapes and sizes. You may have had the fun of tasting a wine straight from a barrel at an event or a tour behind the scenes of a winery, but not all barrel tastings are created equal. Some wines tasted from the barrel have been in the barrel for a short time. Usually, they are a single varietal, unfinished, unbalanced, and sometimes even a little astringent. This is normal for the early stages of barrel aging. Oak provides smoothness, roundness, and balance to a wine, but it takes time. Fortunately, it's worth the wait!

Some wines, usually red wines, spend nearly two years in oak barrels before they are bottled, and some take even longer. At our sister winery Rubino Estates, for example, you can enjoy a Barbera that spends 40 months in oak before it is bottled. Other barrel tastings take place much later in the process of the wine’s aging, when a finished wine has been balanced and blended with other oak and varietals to perfect the wine. These tastings actually offer a glimpse of what the wine will be like when it finds its way into the bottle. 

One special wine world tradition, known as en primeur, allows some critics, collectors, journalists, and major importers to taste the barrels after they have been blended into their final forms and have a chance to pre-order the wines they like. Traditionally, these events are held in the springtime and the wines are delivered once they are bottled later in the year. In tasting these en primeur also known as “futures” from the barrel, a wine lover has the chance to taste what they like, gain guaranteed access to limited release wines, and take the chance to secure a bargain price.

Wine futures are an exciting investment and offer intimate knowledge of the lifespan of your favorite wines, from our club exclusive wines to our Reserve and Jewel Collections. At Back to the Futures, our wine futures event, you have the chance to taste our upcoming releases straight from the barrel. This is an opportunity line no other: you can try your favorite wines before they’re bottled and get behind-the-scenes insight into our winemaking process! We're also offering a special pre-order discount on our barrel tasting futures. Save 35-40% off the retail price of these phenomenal wines and get first access once they’ve been bottled. The value of your ticket will be credited toward each 6-bottle pre-order.

Back to the Futures, our exclusive barrel tasting event, will be hosted at our sister winery Rubino Estates next Saturday, April 22nd, at 6:30 click here to get your tickets now. So, what are you waiting for? Come join us for Futures Night and experience the magic of winemaking firsthand!


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