Bullish on…

Sherry bodegas are filled with large, imposing black barrels that sit like silent bulls in the dim light. A typical bodega might have a hundred thousand such casks (known as botas, or butts). The barrels are always painted with a water-based, jet-black matte paint, giving them a powerful, dramatic appearance. And why black? The answers most commonly given in the Sherry region are that: 1) the black paint discourages insects from nibbling on the wood, 2) the black paint keeps the sun from penetrating the wood and spoiling the wine, 3) painting them helps the 100 + year old barrels look tidier, and 4) any leakage could be easily detected because it would appear shiny against the black matte paint.

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