Have you ever wondered exactly how much alcohol content is in the wine you’re drinking? No, checking the label won’t give you the right number, regardless of what it says. This is because the volume of wine served affects the concentration of alcohol in it.
The alcohol content can vary quite significantly, lying anywhere between 5 to 23%. If you know the alcohol content of different wines in a social setting, you can drink more of lower alcohol content wines to derive the same effects as consuming small amounts of high alcohol content wines.
Knowing the contents will also give you a reasonably decent idea of what to expect from a particular bottle since the density of alcohol content in wine has significant implications for its texture and flavor. These are but a few of the benefits of knowing how much alcohol content is in what wine. In this article, we’ll present a definitive guide to wine alcohol content, or alcohol by volume, and its implications for the taste of wine.
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How does alcohol content affect taste?
The alcohol content in wine is derived from the natural sugars inside the grapes used to produce the beverage. During fermentation, these sugars turn to alcohol.
The more time these grapes are given to ferment, the more time they have to convert. Otherwise, these sugars lend a sweet taste to the wine. Aging wine for longer also gives it a fuller, warmer body that causes a slight burning sensation in your throat.
The average ABV of wine is around 12%, and those that have more than 14% alcohol content are called fortified wines. These unsparkled wines include several household names, such as Sherry, Ports, etc. While these drinks are great for having an enjoyable night, drinking too much can make things go wrong fairly quickly. As such, if you like to drink, you should consider sticking to lower alcohol content wines.
The standard serving in one wine glass at most fine dining establishments is around 5 ounces, which is roughly composed of 12% alcohol. Depending on the wine content of the bottle, the amount of liquid served in the glass will also vary. This is why the ABV mentioned on the bottle is not always reflective of what is being consumed.
Be sure to also check out “Be Aware Of These 6 High Alcohol Content Wines” to see a few wines we found to have high alcohol content.
How much alcohol content in different wines?
Broadly, the contents of various wines can be divided into three categories: between 5 to 10%, 10 to 14%, and 14 to 20%.
Perhaps the most prominent names in the first category, wines with 5-10% ABV, are German Rieslings, the Moscato D’ Asti, and Rieslings from other parts of the world. Of these, the German variant is perhaps one of the most recommended wines of this century.
The second category houses perhaps the most expansive set of classic, timeless wines. These include French Róses like Beaujolais, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Malbec, and the Pinot Noir.
As mentioned earlier, the average ABV of wine is around 12%. It is no surprise that the most typical wines are all in the set. Are you looking for something unique and underrated from this category? Go with an elegant Barolo or Brunello wines, from Italy.
Lastly, the group of wines with 14% or more ABV mainly consists of fortified wines, Shiraz, and American Syrah. These wines are as full-bodied as it gets.
The Shiraz and Syrah are known for their sophisticated flavors that integrate spices along with floral/fruity notes.
Classics like Sherry are on the sweeter side, while others are drier and more tannic. Zinfandel is another famous wine in this category.
Wines of different ABV can taste drastically different depending on the variance in alcohol content level. Bottles on the higher end tend to be fuller and drier. While the reverse is true for low alcohol content wines. This trick can be handy in various situations. The attached infographic is a helpful guide to selecting your choice of wine for the next event or party.
Thank you for reading! Be sure to check out related articles to have all the tools you need to plan that next event or party like “8 Tips to Host a Great Wine Tasting Party” or even “Jazz Up Your Pool Party with Amazing Floating Wine Glasses“.
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