Definition - What does Oak Powder mean?
Oak powder is a form of processed oak that can be used during the winemaking process to intensify and change the flavor and mouthfeel of a wine. Traditionally, wine was barrel-aged but as processes in winemaking have evolved, oak can be added at any stage in the winemaking process. Oak powder is available in different levels of toast, different types of oak species and is typically added during crushing or fermentation. Oak powder is often used in conjuction with liquid oak.
WineFrog explains Oak Powder
Oak powder offers winemakers a way to add oak to wine to create complex reactions that result in dramatically different flavor profiles than barrel-aging wine in oak. Oak powder is added to wine during crushing or fermentation, which creates the very complex sugar and polysaccharides that gives body and mouthfeel to the wine. Additionally, when the powdered oak is added during fermentation, the yeast interact with the tannins in the oak and soften them.
The flavor of oak is not present at all in a wine when oak powder is added early in the winemaking process, rather, the oak powder removes and softens unwanted green, vegetal or herbaceous tones within the wine. Adding oak powder early in on in winemaking also intensifies fruit flavor and creates smooth and balanced drinking wines. Depending on the effect desired, the powder is added either during crushing or at the start of fermentation; the small particle size of oak powder allows it to easily mix with the wine and is also easy to remove from the wine once the result the winemakers wants is realized in the wine.