Definition - What does Barrel Tasting mean?
Barrel tasting is a form of wine tasting where a taster or winemaker samples the wine straight out of the barrel. This tasting process takes place either during the course of wines development or prior to bottling. The basic concept or purpose of tasting wine from the barrel is to monitor the maturation process and to determine the best time for bottling.
WineFrog explains Barrel Tasting
Wineries barrel-taste their wines on regular basis to check for oak extraction and oxygen pickup as well as the levels of fruit, acid, tannin and coloring present in the wine. All these factors are taken into consideration to determine how far the fermentation process has progressed and how the finished wine will eventually taste like.
This sort of barrel-tasting is usually strict to winemakers, however, there are a lot of barrel tasting events that are held throughout year for consumers and wine enthusiasts to experience first-hand.