In ancient times, clay vessels were used to house wine. To make the wine easier to transport, people began to use oak barrels. The pleasant flavors and softness that came from the oak quickly made it the wine storage vessel of choice. To get this desirable effect in your wine, you can age it in a high quality oak barrel. If you're aging wine in modern equipment, you can still infuse the flavor and quality of oak by using oak cubes, sticks, or chips.