Understanding Alcohol Content in Wine

The wonderful sensation of a smooth wine is something that most of us cherish after a long day’s work. With a nice, fruity bouquet of grapes and added ingredients, we get a beverage that easily replaces even the headiest of different elixirs.

But one element of wine that increases the hedonistic feeling of wine even further is that of wine’s alcohol content.

Now, debate has been going on for a long time about the alcohol content in wine. However, according to wine connoisseurs, the alcohol content isn’t really something that should be up for such debate.

And here, we’ll tell you why.

What is Alcohol in Wine?

According to the winemakers at Montemaggio, alcohol is basically just sugar created during the fermentation process that turns grape juice into wine.

The degree of alcohol is deduced by measuring as ABV, which stands for alcohol by volume.

Process of Fermentation

When the grapes are covered with the necessary ingredients and put in a container at the correct temperature, one of the ingredients – namely yeast – turns the sugar of the grape juice into alcohol and carbon dioxide. It is that yeast that brings out the flavor of the wine, while producing alcohol.

Now, in order for the wine to reach its optimum flavor peak, it has to complete its life cycle and that can only be done if the alcohol content of the wine per unit volume has enough of a strong concentration to put a stop to all the enzymatic activity of the yeast. As such, if the alcohol content is somehow removed, it would affect the overall quality of the wine.

Why Alcohol is Important for Wine

Firstly, it must be understood that without alcohol, there wouldn’t be a main carrier of the bouquet, aroma or the flavor of the wine. Alcohol is the main factor that provides balance to a wine, and gives body to the flavor concentration.

In fact, from all factors that go into a glass of fine red Italian wine, it is alcohol that acts as a solvent that extracts the necessary components of the grape skin such as tannins and color.

Why Do Wines Have Different Alcohol Content?

If you compare wines with low and high alcohol content, you need to take into account their conditions of making. Some wines naturally have a lower alcohol level than others, mainly because the grapes for the wine are grown in cooler climates.

Secondly, in many cases, certain types of grapes reach their physiological ripeness without actually excelling in sugar level. As well, if grapes are grown in warmer climates but at a higher altitude, this factor would affect the alcohol level by lowering it.

Average Alcohol Content in Wine

An average glass of wine (175ml = medium glass) can contain up to two units of alcohol, although the amount in red wine can vary, going from 12.5% to 16%.

Why Some Wines May Seem Stronger?

The simple answer to this question is that of yeast quality.

Back in the 1950s when yeast was added to grape juice, it was not able to survive alcohol levels that would go past 13.5% ABV. In this case, the yeast would die before all the sugar could be converted into alcohol. This would then affect the quality, body and overall flavor of the wine.

However, with tougher yeast being developed over the years, the alcohol is able to survive a high alcohol level.


Along with being a major contributing factor for the flavor of wine, alcohol is above all an intoxicating agent.

And since getting too intoxicated can mar your experience of drinking the best wine, we recommend that you drink in moderation and try to take wine as the whole package, rather than waste your time by pondering over the details.

With wines from the Montemaggio vineyards, we promise you the very best Tuscan wines. If you want to enjoy wine at its peak, visit us and indulge in the luxury of this wonderfully intoxicating elixir.

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