Choosing the right barrel & fortified blend

Choosing the right barrel & fortified blend

So you're looking at purchasing a home barrel, allowing you to have delicious fortified wine on tap 24/7. Congratulations! Owning a home barrel begins an exciting journey full of experimenting, sipping, swishing, spitting, testing and waiting. It's all part of handcrafting and perfecting a unique fortified blend that you can sip, enjoy and brag about with great satisfaction.

If the world of home barrels and blending fortified is new to you, then let us guide you through the different options we have available at Liquid Luxury. 

The first thing you want to choose is your barrel size. At Liquid Luxury, we have two size options, 10L and 20L. 

If you're just a fortified sipper, the 10L could be your perfect size. A 10L barrel will allow you to maintain some complex, older material while adding freshness to your top-ups. We recommend that 10L barrel owners consume no more than 2-4 litres a year.

You should look at the 20L barrel if you're a fortified slurper.

20L is the best size if you want to create a long-term, complex blend, as the more significant volume means you can consume 5-7 litres a year whilst still developing your unique style of fortified wine. With a recommended turnover rate of 20-35% per year, a larger barrel enables you to have steady control of how your unique blend matures, albeit at a slower rate than the smaller barrels. This is because you are keeping your original material in the blend, which will form the oldest and most complex component of your fortified wine over many years.

Our home barrels are handcrafted by Master Cooper, Andrew Young, of the Barossa Valley. All barrels are crafted from minimum aged 10-year-old oak, meaning they are perfectly seasoned and ready to go the moment your barrel arrives on your doorstep. 

Once you've decided the barrel size you prefer, it is time to select a fortified fill. At Liquid Luxury, we offer Muscat, Topaque (formally Tokay), Tawny (red-based) and White Fortified (not as sweet as Muscat and Topaque).

Our most popular fortified fill is Muscat. Our Muscat is handcrafted in Rutherglen, Victoria (the Muscat capital of the world) at Stanton & Killeen, one of the oldest and most awarded family-run wineries in Rutherglen. S&K Rutherglen Muscat offers a depth of flavour, texture and complexity like no other wine style.

We currently offer three different tiers of blending Muscat to fill your barrel. 

Standard Muscat
$17 per litre | 2-3 years old.

A true Rutherglen icon, this foundation Muscat is incredibly popular for many reasons. Rich and luscious raisin notes blend with delicate rose petal aromas and flavours to create this exceptional wine. As with all our 'Standard' blending fortified wines, it is lighter in style and younger in age. Young muscats display more aromatics, such as rose petals and Turkish Delight with fresh raisin notes, and as it ages, it will show richer tones of Christmas pudding and chocolate shavings.

Purchase this fill if: You prefer your Muscat bright, light and fresh, with delicate fruit flavours and delicate aromatics of rose petals and orange peel.


Premium Muscat
$20 per litre | 3-4 years old.

Our Premium Muscat will add significant complexity and depth to home barrel blends. The palate is balanced with rich raisin fruit, rose petals and

dried fig, with notes of cumquats adding a touch of acidity. 

Purchase this fill if: You prefer your Muscat to be complex and luscious. Our Premium Muscat is one of the most popular Muscat fills as it has a beautiful balance of fresh fruit and flavour depth. Our Premium Muscat will add excellent character and length to your blend. 


Deluxe Muscat
$23 per litre | 4-5 years old.

Our Deluxe Muscat has developed a luscious viscosity sure to maintain depth and richness whilst adding a punch of warmth and fruitfulness to more mature home barrel blends. For those with younger barrels seeking to advance their blend's maturity, our Deluxe Muscat will help kickstart your blend in the right direction.

Purchase this fill if: You prefer your Muscat deep and dark. While still young, our Deluxe Muscat will give new barrels an excellent starting point. It will also freshen up older barrels without diluting the age significantly. 


If Muscat sounds too rich and sweet for your tastebuds, you might consider filling your barrel with Topaque. Whereas Muscat is raisins, roses and Christmas pudding, Topaque is citrus, honey toast and malt flavours. 

Topaque, previously known as Tokay before the EU naming restrictions were enforced, is made from a white grape called Muscadelle. Despite similar names, Muscadelle is not related to Muscat. 

Although still a sweet dessert wine Topaque is generally considered more savoury and lighter in style than Muscat. We currently offer three tiers of Topaque to fill your barrel. 

Standard Topaque
$17 per litre | 2-3 years old.

Aromas of quince jelly, cumquat and dried fruit lead to a silky palate of zesty lemon peel and caramelised butter. 

Purchase this fill if: You prefer your Topaque light and fresh with a hint of citrus peel and burnt butter. Our Standard Topaque is a terrific base product that can mature into your preferred style.


Premium Topaque
$20 per litre | 3-4 years old.

Our Premium Topaque is a richer and more complex style than the Standard Topaque, with a light amber colour, fragrant aromas of almonds and caramel and a palate of dried apricots and honey toast. 

Purchase this fill if: You want more depth, age and layers in your home blend. Our Premium Topaque can also be blended 50/50 with our Standard White Fortified to create a beautiful drier blend of honey suckles and butterscotch.  


Deluxe Topaque
$23 per litre | 4-5 years old.

A new addition to our blending fortified range, we have selected some rich and complex parcels of Topaque to create this blend. Dark amber in colour with aromatics of barley sugar and butterscotch. The palate has intense layers of malt, toffee and butter menthol with excellent length. 

Purchase this fill if: You like rich, luscious flavours or if you want a head start on a new barrel. Our Deluxe Topaque is the most developed of the three Topaque tiers (Standard, Premium and Deluxe). 


If you want something even lighter in style than the Topaque, then perhaps consider our White Fortified. Our White Fortified (previously called White Port) is not overly dry or sweet; it's roughly in the middle, making it a great 'all-rounder' fortified. You can also blend White Fortified with Topaque as they have the same base variety, Muscadelle. 


Standard White Fortified
$17 per litre | 2-3 years old.

This wine is light, fresh, and highly versatile, a blend of Muscadelle, Chardonnay and Viognier. It has delicate flavours of honeysuckle, bottlebrush and walnuts. 

Purchase this fill if: You prefer a light, fruity and slightly drier style of fortified wine. Our Standard White Fortified is perfect for your barrel if you want to give your blend a floral and aromatic lift. You can blend White Fortified with any of the three Topaque tiers. 


If you're looking for a Tawny or red style fortified, consider filling your barrel with our Standard Barrel Blend or Premium Tawny. Our Barrel Blend and Tawny are drier in style than the White Fortified, Topaque and Muscat and will suit people who like something with a little more savouriness and balanced spice.

Standard Barrel Blend
$17 per litre | 2-3 years old.

A fresh and younger blend of Shiraz and Portuguese varieties full of flavoursome cherry and star anise. Perfect if you want to develop these characters in your blend. A young port tends to show more primary fruit characteristics, whereas an aged port will taste more nutty, spicy and savoury.

Purchase this fill if: You love Portuguese style Ports and soft savoury tannins. If you have a port blend (one based on a fortified red such as Shiraz or Portuguese varieties) that is many years old, and you are finding it a bit acidic, including some young Barrel Blend, you will add a dose of fresh fruit sweetness.


Premium Tawny
$20 per litre | 3-4 years old.

A mature blend of Shiraz and our famous Portuguese varieties, this Tawny is a favourite for those who love a traditional style tawny port with some age. It has rich flavours of plums and subtle oak.

Purchase this fill if: You love a drier style of tawny port with rich flavours and more prominent tannins. Use this in your blend if you want a 'drink now' style. 

We hope our guide helped make your decision on what size barrel and what to fill it with a little easier. If you still have any questions regarding our barrels and blending fortified wines, please do not hesitate to contact us by email at or by phone (02) 6032 9457

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