Originally Posted by speter
French oak gives tannins, which I fear would be lost here. American oak gives vanilla flavors, but you would need much more.
I've never put oak chips in anything, but I'm a wine geek, so I know a lot about oak barrels. I think the last part of what you said goes against what I know, so if you'd elaborate, I'd like to know.
French (and/or Hungarian) Oak is very tightly grained oak that leaches sap and such much less readily than American Oak. French Oak gives off more nutmeg and papery/fine type tannins as you mentioned, while American Oak is more pine-y, vanilla and 'generous'. The flavors are much more pronounced for the same amount of time in the oak, as far as I'm concerned. I can't imagine a white burgundy tasting anywhere near elegant after the same amount of time in American barrels.
The part I don't get is... I would think that you would have to use more French Oak than American Oak to extract the flavors you want. Can you esplain me somesing?