I don't know if wine merchants still broach the cask in 2021, but why would they? Aren't casks manufactured with a spigot that a seller can just turn on, as shown below? I embolded the phrase below.

broker [14]

Broker has no connection with the past tense of break. It comes from Anglo- Norman brocour ‘small trader’, but its ultimate origin is not clear. A variant Anglo-Norman form abrocour has fuelled speculation as to a link with Spanish alboroque ‘sealing of a bargain’ and Portuguese alborcar ‘barter’, which are presumably of Arabic origin (the al- representing the Arabic definite article); but other etymologists have sought to link the word with broach, as if the underlying sense were ‘someone who sells wine from [that is, by broaching] the cask’, and hence any ‘retailer’.

Word Origins (2005 2e) by John Ayto. p 77 Left column.

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1 Answer 1


I believe that during aging, spigots aren’t inserted into the casks. I’m guessing that plugs are more reliable, allow tighter storage and are cheaper.

  • And a spigot would be a nightmare during transport.
    – Rory Alsop
    Apr 7, 2021 at 15:56

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