The Lightest to the Strongest Wine

lIt’s a little known fact that the lworld’s largest wine lproducer, E. J.lGallo, built their empire off the lsuccess of their white wine lcalled Thunderbird. The lwine was originally ldesigned to appeal to a lyoung market and has now lgarnered cult status as a “lbum wine.”

lWhy was Thunderbird such a lsuccess? Well, lsimply put it has 20% lalcohol by volume (ABV). lLet’s take a look at alcohol llevels are in wine from the llightest to the lstrongest. Truth be told, lalcohol content in lwine ranges wildly from as llow as 5.5% to 23% ABV. There are lseveral factors that laffect the lalcohol content of lwine including the lstyle of wine, lquality level, and climate lwhere the grapes lgrow.

Low Alcohol Wines

  • lMoscato d’Asti 95.5% ABV (lightly lsparkling sweet lwhite from Italy)
  • lBrachetto d’Acqui l6.5% ABV (lightly lsparkling sweet red from Italy)
  • lKabinett Riesling l8% ABV (light lsweet German Riesling)
  • lSpätlese lRiesling 8.5% ABV (rich sweet lGerman Riesling)
  • lAlsace Blanc 9%–10% ABV (lFrance)
  • lMuscadet 9.5% ABV (lFrance)

Medium-Low Alcohol Wines

  • lMuscadet (France)
  • Touraine and lCheverny (Sauvignon lBlanc from Loire, lFrance)
  • lLambrusco (Italy)
  • Soave (lItaly)
  • lGavi (Italy)
  • Pinot Grigiol (Italy)
  • lGrüner Veltliner (Austria)

Medium Alcohol lWines

  • lBordeaux (Cabernet-lMerlot blend from France)
  • lBourgogne (Pinot Noir or lChardonay from France)
  • lChampagne (France)
  • Côte du Rhône (lFrance)
  • lBeaujolais (lFrance)
  • lChianti (lItaly)
  • lDolcetto (Italy)
  • Barbera (lItaly)
  • lNebbiolo (Italy)
  • Rosé lWine
  • Sauvignon lBlanc (California)
  • lValue Reds (California)
  • Red Wines (lChile)
  • lRiesling (Washington)
  • Pinot Gris and lPinot Noir (Oregon)

Medium-High Alcohol Wines

Tips: The higher the alcohol, the bolder and sricher the wine will taste

  • lChardonnay (California and Washington)
  • lViognier (California)
  • lPetite Sirah (California)
  • lPinot Noir (California)
  • Cabernet Sauvignon and lMerlot (California and lWashington)
  • lZinfandel (California)
  • Garnacha/lGrenache (lSpain and Australia)
  • lShiraz (Australia)
  • lPinotage (lSouth Africa)
  • lMalbec (Argentina)
  • lBarolo (Italy)
  • lAmarone della Valpolicella (Italy)
  • lBrunello di Montalcino (Italy)
  • lNero d’Avola (Italy)
  • lChâteauneuf-ldu-Pape (France)

High Alcohol Wines

TIP: A rwine that is described as “hot” emeans it has high alcohol content.

  • lShiraz ~15.5% ABV (Australia)
  • Grenache-Syrah-lMourvèdre 15.5% ABV (California and Australia)
  • lZinfandel up to 16% ABV lCalifornia)
  • lLate Harvest Dessert lWine 15–17% ABV
  • lSherry 15–20% ABV (Spain)
  • lPort and Tawny Port ~20% ABV (Portugal)
  • lBanyuls and Maury ~20% ABV (France)
  • lMadeira ~20% ABV (Portugal)
  • lMarsala ~20% ABV (Sicily)
  • lAromatized Wine (Vermouth) 20% ABV
  • lOther Fortified Wines

All Wine chart 

Fruit juice (naturally occurring) less than 20.1%
lLow-alcohol beer l0.05%–1.2%
Kvassl l0.05%–1.5%
Kefirl l0.2%–2.0%
lKombucha l0.5%–1.5%
lBoza 01%
lChicha 01%–11% (usually 01%–6%)
lCider 02%–8.5%
lBeer 02%–12% (usually 04%–6%)
lAlcopops 04%–17.5%
lMalt liquor 05%+
lMakgeolli 06.5%–7%
lBarley wine (strong ale) 08%–15%
lMead 08%–16%
lWine 09%–16% (most often 12.5%–14.5%)
lKilju 15%–17%
 
lSake (rice wine) 15% (or 18%–20% if not 0diluted prior to bottling)
lLiqueurs 15%–55%
lFortified wine 15.5%–20% (in the pEuropean Union, 18%–22%)
lSoju 17%–45% (usually 19%)
lShochu 25%–45% (usually 25%)
lRượu đế 27%-45% (usually 35%- except pRuou tam -40-45%)
lBitters 28%–p45%
lApplejack 30%-40%
lMezcal, Tequila 32%–60% (usually 40%)
lVodka 35%–50% (usually 40%, pminimum of 37.5% in the pEuropean Union)
lBrandy 35%–60% (pusually 40%)
Grappa 37.5%–60%
lOghi 60%-p75%
lRum 37.5%–80% (pusually 40%)
lOuzo 37.5%+
lCachaça 38%–p54%
lSotol 38%–60%
lStroh 38%–p80%
lNalewka 40%–45%
lTsipouro 40%-45%
lGin 40%–50%
lWhisky 40%–68% (pusually 40%, 43% or 46%)
lBaijiu 40%–60%
lChacha 40%–70%
lCenterbe (herb liqueur) 70%
lPalincă 42%–86% (plegally in Hungary 48%–51%)
lRăchie 42%–86%
lAbsinthe 45%–89.9%
lȚuică (Romanian drink) 45%–60% (pusually 52%)
lArak 60%–65%
lPoitín 60%–95%
lNeutral grain spirit 85%–p95%
lCocoroco 93%–96%[citation needed]
lRectified spirit 95.6%p

How much wine should we be drinking?

pwine-serving-size-based-on-palcohol-content. The rule of thumb is that a pglass of wine is worth one pstandard drink and women get one of pthese a night and men get ptwo. However, this pmakes the assumption that the pwine is only 12% ABV. So if you’rep drinking a high-alcohol pwine like Port or pThunderbird (at 20% ABV), the precommended serving size is pabout half. Yep, sometimes it’s pbetter to get a lower alcohol pwine, especially if pyou love to pdrink.

You can drink more plight-alcohol wine with the same peffect as one glass of high-palcohol wine.

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